Religious Freedom, LGBT Rights, and the Prospects for Common Ground

Religious Freedom, LGBT Rights, and the Prospects for Common Ground
William N. Eskridge Jr. and Robin Fretwell Wilson, eds.|
Cambridge University Press 2018

The rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons (LGBT) are strongly contested by certain faith communities, and this confrontation has become increasingly pronounced following the adjudication of a number of legal cases. As the strident arguments of both sides enter a heated political arena, it brings forward the deeply contested question of whether there is any possibility of both communities’ contested positions being reconciled under the same law. This volume assembles impactful voices from the faith, LGBT advocacy, legal, and academic communities – from the Human Rights Campaign and ACLU to the National Association of Evangelicals and Catholic and LDS churches. The contributors offer a 360-degree view of culture-war conflicts around faith and sexuality – from Obergefell to Masterpiece Cakeshop – and explore whether communities with such profound differences in belief are able to reach mutually acceptable solutions in order to both live with integrity.


Advance praise:’Taken together, this outstanding collection of essays is an enlightening, civil and ultimately hopeful dialogue about one of the most urgent public policy questions of our time. Essential reading for every American who cares about religious freedom, equality and the  prospects for finding common ground across our deepest differences.’ – Charles C. Haynes – Founding Director, Religious Freedom Center, Freedom Forum Institute

Advance praise:’This superbly edited, richly diverse, and impressively comprehensive volume promises a 360-degree vantage on one of the most complex and polarizing issues of our day – and it delivers. Whether you already know what you think, or are coming fresh to the controversy, you will find these pages to be rich in wisdom and glowing with the spirit and ingenuity of American pluralism.’ – Jonathan Rauch – Brookings Institution, Washington, DC

Advance praise:’This big, bold, and bracing book is pulsing with good will and earnest effort to reconcile competing claims of religious freedom and sexual liberty, especially for LGBTQ Parties. Professors Wilson and Eskridge, Jr, have long been national leaders in this reconciliation effort, and deserve high praise for assembling such a vast collection of leading scholars. This will be the go-to book for the next generation.’ – John Witte, Jr – Director, Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University

Advance praise:’Professors Eskridge, Jr, and Wilson have collected an enlightening and engaging collection of views and arguments that covers the full conversation about whether and how ‘common ground’ between religious freedom and LGBT rights is possible. In this volume, legal scholars, activists, theologians, historians, and public officials explore not only the history, justifications, and implications of religious liberty’s foundational status, but also the contemporary challenges to it.’  Richard W. Garnett – Paul J. Schierl / Fort Howard Corporation Professor of Law, Notre Dame Law School