Same-sex marriage, investigating nuns, health care


I found Robert K. Vischer’s review of Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty thought-provoking (“Incompatible Freedoms?” October 9). One thought it provoked is that Professor Vischer’s political arguments for religious liberty were very similar to arguments for racial segregation. That is troubling.

Vischer has two arguments for allowing employment discrimination against same-sex married couples. First, if same-sex married couples can find employment elsewhere, denying them a particular employment opportunity is merely an inconvenience and a matter of hurt feelings. Therefore, when a religious agency enters a contract voluntarily and receives public dollars to operate a public program, the state should allow discrimination on the basis of “separate but adequate.” Second, sectarian agencies represent a longstanding and deeply entrenched moral position. State refusal to fund social-service programs run by discriminatory sectarian agencies would subvert the moral authority of those agencies and the churches with which they are affiliated.

These arguments seem to be a diluted version of the old “separate but equal” argument used by Southern states to defend...

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