- Professor David Forte, Cleveland State Law
With the U.S. Supreme Court cert grant in the Little Sisters of the Poor case, religious liberties is once again in the legal and media spotlight. What is the recent record of the government in protecting religious liberty? Our panel will discuss everything from the contraceptive mandate and its exemptions to ministerial hiring, RLUPA, the faith-based initiative, the Planned Parenthood controversy, and everything in between.
Religious Liberties: Examination of the Obama Administration’s Protection of Religious Liberty
3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
The Mayflower Hotel
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?