Gay Rights vs. Religious Freedom

Texas RFRA and the Houston "HERO" LGBT Referendum - Podcast

Texas Chapters Podcast
John C. Eastman, Josh Blackman, Kathleen Hunker, Eugene Volokh October 05, 2015

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) ballot initiative, which extends to housing & employment, has been described as an expansive LGBT anti-discrimination measure. The Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the new Pastor Protection Act are intended to provide rights of conscience protection and some assurance of employment accommodation for religious objectors, in light of initiatives like HERO and the anti-discrimination ordinance in San Antonio. After the Supreme Court Obergefell v. Hodges decision, more and more states will face the conundrum encountered by states like Indiana, Kentucky, and now Texas, where the recently affirmed LGBT constitutional privacy interest is in tension with state and federal RFRA laws and other constitutional religious objector protections. Will states that desire to carve out religious conviction protections be eclipsed by the momentum of locally based anti-discrimination measures? Do federal laws provide sufficient public office and private party religious expression protection?


  • Prof. John Eastman, Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service, Chapman University School of Law
  • Prof. Josh Blackman, Assistant Professor of Law, South Texas College of Law
  • Kathleen Hunker, Senior Policy Analyst with the Center for Economic Freedom, Texas Public Policy Foundation
  • Prof. Eugene Volokh,  Gary T. Schwartz Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law