Religious Freedom Debate Delays New York Same-sex Marriage Law

Lexington, VA Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Prof. Robin F. Wilson
Washington and Lee law professor Robin Fretwell Wilson is quoted in several media outlets on the continuing debate in the New York State Senate over the passage of a law legalizing same sex marriage.

The New York bill, which has passed in the State Assembly, follows similar measures adopted in Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire and protects churches and synagogues from civil actions for denying same-sex couples the use of their facilities or refusing to solemnize same-sex marriages. But the New York bill stops short of extending those protections to religious nonprofit groups or business owners who may object to providing services to same-sex couples because of religious beliefs.

This omission, says Wilson, could potentially create needless clashes between religious and civil liberties. However, she argues that by extending the protections already included in the New York law, a true middle ground will be created that balances competitive interests in a pluralistic democratic society.

Media coverage of Prof. Wilson's opinions and analysis of the issue are available below.

Online Coverage

Wall Street Journal

The New York Sun (Op/Ed)

The Times Union

The National Review

Crane's New York Business

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