Main | Monday, May 18, 2015

Maggie Gallagher: MARFAs Not RFRAs

"State RFRAs are bad vehicles for this fight, because they are broad and vague and their outcome is uncertain. It is very unlikely that a state RFRA will protect anyone from any gay equality wrath, precisely because courts uniformly view equality as a compelling interest, and because there is no way to make sure everyone gets treated equally while permitting some people to refuse to serve gay weddings. A better vehicle is some version of a Marriage and Religious Freedom Act (MARFA), which prevents governments from punishing individuals and small businesses for refusing to participate in a wedding they do not approve of. If you ask me, I would carve out an exception for race and leave it at that. The protection is narrow, but tight and clear; they can be crafted to be viewpoint neutral (meaning you can refuse Maggie’s wedding if you object to it, too). And they can be narrowed to apply to small businesses, so that the big corporations have no excuse to getting involved unless they want to be mean to the little guy." - Maggie Gallagher, writing for The Pulse. (Tipped by JMG reader CM)

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