2014 Issues Forum: A Timely First Amendment Issue

April 26, 2014 @ 12:00 am

“My God, Your Rights, Our Constitution: When People Use Religious Freedom To Discriminate”

This First Amendment issue was the subject of a forum hosted by the Northern Virginia Chapter of the ACLU of Virginia on April 26, 2014 at the Lyceum in Alexandria. View the forum at: http://youtu.be/Ey34fM18h4w.
This forum explored a politically explosive question: Can individuals and institutions discriminate based on their religious beliefs? With increasing frequency, we see individuals and institutions claiming a right to refuse services to people—based on religious objections. For example,

  • Business owners refusing to provide contraception insurance for their employees
  • Religiously affiliated schools firing women because they became pregnant while unmarried
  • Professionals of all kinds refusing to serve individuals because of the professionals’ personal beliefs

These issues were explored in the context of examining Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. by our two distinguished speakers: Daniel Mach, Director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, and Ira (“Chip”) Lupu, Elwood and Eleanor Davis Professor Emeritus of Law at George Washington University School of Law.