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Religious Freedom Institute




Last May, before the Supreme Court issued its landmark opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges,Cornerstone sponsored a symposium on “Responding to Indiana RFRA and Beyond,” which focused on Governor Mike Pence’s swift “fix” of Indiana’s RFRA, after protests and threats of boycotts, to clarify that it would “not create a license to discriminate.” Particularly controversial were provisions protecting the conscience of persons operating for-profit businesses. In that symposium, I observed that public discourse frequently referred back to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, because “many people relate the current battle over protecting conscience in the context of public accommodations to earlier opposition to ending racial segregation in public accommodations.” That historical reference point remains salient post-Obergefell, as calls for protecting religious liberty and conscience increasingly employ the language of protection against “discrimination,” as is illustrated in the recently-enjoined Mississippi law, H.B. 1523.

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