Robin Fretwell-Wilson receives the 2018 Thomas L. Kane Religious Freedom Award
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Hannah L. Smith, ICLRS Senior Fellow, with Robin Fretwell-Wilson, 2018 Thomas L. Kane Religious Freedom Award Recipient

Robin Fretwell-Wilson was presented the Thomas L. Kane Religious Freedom Award at the 2018 J. Reuben Clark Law Society Annual Conference held in Salt Lake City, Utah the 15-17 of February. The award, named for General Thomas L. Kane, an influential and powerful advocate for the religious freedom of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during their migration to Utah and in the early days of the Church’s history, is presented to an individual who exemplifies the character and traits of Thomas L. Kane in upholding and defending religious freedom.

Robin Fretwell Wilson is the Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law and director of the Family Law and Policy Program and the Epstein Health Law and Policy Program at the University of Illinois College of Law. She is the author or editor of eleven books, including The Contested Place of Religion in Family Law (editor, Cambridge University Press, 2018); Religious Freedom, LGBT Rights, and the Prospects for Common Ground (coeditor, Cambridge University Press, 2018); and Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty (coeditor, 2008). 

A member of the American Law Institute, Professor Wilson has worked extensively on state law reform. In 2007 she received the Citizen’s Legislative Award for her work on changing Virginia’s informed consent law. Most recently, she assisted the Utah Legislature to enact the Utah Compromise, which balanced LGBT rights with religious liberty protections for traditional marriage. Professor Wilson directs the Fairness for All initiative at the University of Illinois, supported in part by the Templeton Religion Trust and the First Amendment Partnership, which hopes to provide other proofs-of-principle in state law that gay rights and religious liberty need not be in tension. She also directs the Tolerance Means Dialogues discussions around the country that are aimed at harnessing the insights of millennials about how to bridge differences in our society over issues that have divided us—such as gay rights—with the goal being that every voice is heard.    

Robin participated in the JRCLS Annual Conference as a panelist on the topic of “Religious Freedom, Pluralism, and LGBT Rights: Is ‘Fairness for All’ Possible?” She has spoken at the Religious Freedom Annual Review and participated in other projects with ICLRS and the BYU Law School

Associate Director Gary Doxey also presented at the conference, participating on the panel, Promoting Religious Freedom Around the World, with International Advisory Board Member David Pollei.