Why “Live-And-Let-Live” is Not a Viable Solution to the Difficult Problems of Religious Accommodation in the Age of Sexual Civil Rights – Article by Mary Anne Case

From Volume 88, Number 3 (March 2015)

For the better part of a decade, a number of well-intentioned scholars of religious liberty have insisted that, as Douglas Laycock put it, “conflicts . . . between religious conservatives and the gay rights movement[] have live-and-let-live solutions in the tradition of American liberty.” More recently, some have tried to concretize this general claim in more-or-less specific proposals for accommodation of religious objectors in the context of state laws recognizing same-sex marriage. In no small part because of continuing religious conscientious objection to abortion and newly vigorous religious objection to contraception, including but not limited to demands for exemptions from the contraception mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) such as those recently considered by the Supreme Court in cases like Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, some of these scholars have now expanded the reach of their proposals for religious accommodation from the narrow issue of same-sex marriage to more broad “disagreements over sexual morality.” In this broader context, they renew their claims, first, that to arrive at a live-and-let-live solution is not only desirable but possible “if we have the will to do so,” and second, that to do otherwise than accommodate would be untrue to this nation’s tradition of religious liberty.