How the Supreme Court’s Expansion of Freedom of Religion Makes Its Decision on the Rights of Gays and Transsexuals Possible

While many social conservatives were pleased by several recent Supreme Court rulings protecting religious liberty, they were dismayed by the court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County to restrict discrimination against homosexuals and transsexuals. Many liberals, by contrast, saw the decisions upholding the freedom of religious institutions from government imposition as undermining Bostock. But to Adam White, they are complementary:

[T]he Supreme Court’s decisions on sexual orientation, “gender identity,” and other issues might have been facilitated by the fact that religious liberty moderates their impact.

Stated another way, perhaps at least some of the justices in the Bostock majority—including its author, Justice Gorsuch, as well as Chief Justice Roberts and perhaps even others—might well have been made more comfortable announcing broadly that the Civil Rights Act protects gender identity and sexual orientation because they knew that some of the most significant ramifications of such a decision would be moderated by the protections of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Simply put, the Court’s appreciation of religious liberty isn’t rolling back progressive legal victories. It may well be helping to make those victories, rightly understood, possible in the first place.

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More about: Freedom of Religion, Homosexuality, Supreme Court, Transsexuals


What Is the Biden Administration Thinking?

In the aftermath of the rescue of four Israeli hostages on Friday, John Podhoretz observes some “clarifying moments.” The third strikes me as the most important:

Clarifying Moment #3 came with the news that the Biden administration is still calling for negotiations leading to a ceasefire after, by my count, the seventh rejection of the same by Hamas since Bibi Netanyahu’s secret offer a couple of weeks ago. Secretary of State Blinken, a man who cannot say no, including when someone suggests it would be smart for him to play high-school guitar while Ukraine burns, will be back in the region for the eighth time to urge Hamas to accept the deal. Why is this clarifying? Because it now suggests, here and for all time, that the Biden team is stupid.

Supposedly the carrot the [White House] is dangling in the region is a tripartite security deal with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Which would, of course, be a good thing. But like the stupid people they are now proving to be, they seem not to understand the very thing that led the Saudis to view Israel as a potential ally more than a decade ago: the idea that Israel means business and does what it must to survive and built itself a tech sector the Saudis want to learn from. Allowing Hamas to survive, which is implicitly part of the big American deal, will not lead to normalization. The Saudis do not want an Iranian vassal state in Palestine. Their entire foreign-policy purpose is to counter Iran. I know that. You know that. Everybody in the world knows that. Even Tony Blinken’s guitar is gently weeping at his dangling a carrot to Israel and Saudi Arabia that neither wants, needs, nor will accept.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Antony Blinken, Gaza War 2023, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship