In 1964, the U.S. government passed the Civil Rights Act, which prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Now, LGBTQ groups are fighting to have sexual orientation and gender identity listed as protected classes that cannot be discriminated against.
The Supreme Court is currently deciding a case to determine if gender identity is implicitly included as a protected class under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Simultaneously, Congress is considering passing The Equality Act, which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
Additionally, Congress is considering the Fairness For All Act, which would also prevent discrimination against LGBTQ individuals. However, the bill allows exceptions for faith-based objections. For example, doctors could refuse to provide gender-transition care for faith reasons, and religious groups could discriminate against LGBTQ parents during adoption processes, among other things.
Those who argue that the government can find a balance between religious liberty and LGBTQ protections claim that a compromise between these two principles is possible. This side argues that a law like the Fairness For All Act would respect an individual’s faith while also providing legal protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender orientation.
Those who believe that a balance cannot be found between religious liberty and LGBTQ protections argue that the two principles are diametrically opposed. There are two subsets to this side: they either argue that LGBTQ rights need to be protected with no exceptions or that religious liberty needs to be protected with no exceptions.
So, what do you think? Can the federal government find a balance between religious liberty and LGBTQ protections? Students can either argue Yes, the government can find a balance, No, the government cannot find a balance, or something in between!
Note: Ideal Think the Vote responses include the following:
-Address the question asked in a thoughtful and meaningful manner
-Use cited facts and constitutional arguments when appropriate to support their answers
-Are expressed in cohesive sentences and is free of distracting spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors
-They address counter-arguments and opposing concerns in a respectful manner
-They organize their answer in a manner that flows logically and reads clearly