Religious Liberty, Equal Protection, and the Utah Compromise

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Publication Type honors thesis
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Political Science
Faculty Mentor Daniel Levin,
Creator Richardson, John R.
Title Religious Liberty, Equal Protection, and the Utah Compromise
Date 2018
Description The conflict between religious freedom and civil rights for LGBT Americans is often seen as a zero-sum game. Legal battles over wedding cakes and floral arrangements have garnered national attention and result in a court-sanctioned winner and loser. States and local governments across the country have picked a side in the debate over religious freedom and equal protection and passed laws under which one side wins. In 2015, Utah passed SB 296, a bill which satisfied both sides' major concerns. The LGBT community gained important protections in employment and housing while the religious community gained important institutional exemptions and religious expression safeguards. This came after several local governments across the state had adopted similar measures, beginning with Salt Lake City in 2009. The purpose of this case study is to learn more about the process that led to these laws. In Ogden, Utah activists debated religious liberty and equal protection. For this project, key community leaders were interviewed to discover how they overcame differences and in 2011 crafted widely supported antidiscrimination ordinances similar to what the state legislature would pass four years later. This research reveals several key findings. First, those with seemingly irreconcilable and deeply held views can come together to solve complex issues. Second, the process that this requires is most easily facilitated at the local level. Finally, this research concludes that religious freedom and important civil liberties for the LGBT community can coexist so long as people are willing to consider others' points of view.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Language eng
Rights Management (c) John R. Richardson
Format Medium application/pdf
Permissions Reference URL
ARK ark:/87278/s66t60rs
Setname ir_htoa
Date Created 2020-05-19
Date Modified 2020-05-26
ID 1557705
Reference URL
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