Doug Laycock is nothing if not reasonable. But sometimes reasonable is not right. The most important area of disagreement he addresses, and the one most central to this discussion, concerns the appropriate breadth of the religious exemption that would give individuals and organizations a legally-recognized right to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
At the outset, I must concede that Doug is correct that I misread the breadth of his proposal. Or, more accurately, in my discussion of this issue I focused on Rick Garnett’s version of the exemption rather than on Doug’s. In an April 20 letter to the Speaker of the House of the Connecticut legislature, Rick and three other law professors called upon the Connecticut legislature, in the wake of the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision holding the denial of same-sex marriage unconstitutional, to enact a law that would exempt any “individual” from any law of the state, “including but not limited to laws regarding employment discrimination, housing, public accommodations,” etc. “for refusing to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges,” whenever recognizing the legitimacy of a same-sex marriage would “violate their sincerely held religious beliefs.” It was primarily to this proposal that I was responding in my May 5 post.