Essays On Gay And Lesbian Rights

He said religious schools and colleges should get prepared for the fallout of a decision in favor of same-sex marriage because the “bullying” would be immediate.The concern that Justice Alito expressed emerges from a 1983 Supreme Court case, Bob Jones v. S., involving a conservative Christian university that discriminated on the basis of race.For decades Bob Jones University denied admittance to black students, but by the early 1970s it changed that policy.

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The Cause of the Worry Some Christian universities are worried that they will lose their tax-exempt status and have to close if they are not willing to change their beliefs about homosexuality.

This concern was first voiced during the Obergefell oral arguments when Justice Alito said this: “In the [1983] Bob Jones [University] case, the court held that a college was not entitled to tax-exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating.

None of this legislative or jurisprudential history exists for LGBT claims.

Moreover, in the 30 years since Bob Jones, we have not seen the IRS make a similar move against religious universities in any area.

The Bob Jones court applied the strict scrutiny test, concluding that even though the First Amendment protects religious liberty, religious freedom is not absolute.

In this case, where the government wanted to elevate the protection of racial groups over the protection of religious groups, the government had to show two things.At the same time, conservative Christians who are worried about Obergefell get even more stubborn when the public labels them bigots for refusing to support something they truly believe to be harmful.It’s time for all of us to listen to each other and talk to each other more carefully.An Unwarranted Concern There are two reasons that faith-based colleges will be allowed to continue to act on their beliefs against homosexuality without losing tax-exempt status.First, the Supreme Court in Bob Jones based its decision on the fact that every branch of government and an unbroken line of Supreme Court cases had repeatedly and explicitly denounced racial segregation.When the university brought a lawsuit against the IRS, the Supreme Court affirmed that proper interpretation of the IRS statute meant institutions seeking tax-exempt status must serve a “public purpose and not be contrary to established public policy.” Racial discrimination did not serve a public purpose; furthermore, it violated public policy.Today, some faith-based institutions worry that an interpretation of their scriptures forbidding homosexuality will be found to be a violation of public policy just like racism. For reasons embedded in the cases themselves, the answer is no.Why do his words hold such significance, particularly since the dissent in Obergefell said religious institutions ought to be worried?The answer lies in the tests used in constitutional jurisprudence that highlight the relationship between the Bob Jones and Obergefell decisions.There is no reason to believe that the IRS would suddenly decide to deny tax-exempt status to religious universities that argue as part of their foundational beliefs that homosexuality violates God’s law.Second, if the IRS were to make such a move now or in the future, it would not be successful.


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