Whose rights?

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My friend Marc Stern, general counsel of the American Jewish Congress, has an op-ed in today’s Los Angeles Times worrying about the implications of gay rights for religious liberty. What concerns him is that any religiously based objection to gay rights–such as a devout physician’s desire not to be compelled by law to inseminate a member of a lesbian couple–seems to be increasingly likely to be disallowed by courts moving to treat anti-gay convictions with as little regard as they now treat racist ones.
Knowing Marc as well as I do, I know that what he’s looking for are reasonable accommodations that recognize the interest of both GLBT and religious people to pursue their lives according to their lights. (Keep an eye out for his balanced approach to the issue of IRS scrutiny of the political involvement of religious institutions in the forthcoming issue of Religion in the News.) In practice, it shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with at least some such accommodations. The difficulty is that many of the partisans in this arena are sufficiently unsympathetic to the claims of the other side as to be uninterested in solving even the easy cases. Especially in an election year.