Expert: Gay Rights Opponents Misrepresenting Religious Liberty

Expert on separation of Church and State Dr. Jay Michaelson discusses the tactics same-sex marriage opponents use to paint themselves as victims.

By Chandler Espinoza

imagesTRNS spoke with Dr. Jay Michaelson Tuesday about how far right conservatives are tinging the conversation over LGBTQ rights by playing the victim.

Michaelson, an expert on separation of Church and State with a J.D. from Yale Law School and an M.A. in Religious Studies from Hebrew University, says some gay marriage opponents are falsely asserting that their religious liberty is being trampled.

He recently wrote an article for the Daily Beast entitled “The ‘Religious Liberty’ Bullies And Their Fight Against LGBT Equality.” In it he reveals the tactics religious zealots use to paint themselves as the victims of obstructed religious liberties.

He sums up the argument  of far-right coalitions’ as “Religious Freedom is the freedom to discriminate against someone else if one has a religious reason for doing so.”

Dr. Michaelson was in Minnesota for a Marriage Equality referendum on the ballot. He said, “The things we were hearing from the other side were lies. It was said that if there were same-sex marriage in Minnesota that your minister would be compelled to solemnize a gay wedding, which,” he said,”is completely untrue and they know it’s untrue. No one can compel a member of the clergy, a minister, a priest, or a Rabbi to violate their religion. That’s outrageous.”


Watch Dr. Jay Michaelson on Huffington Post Live @ 2:30pm EST, 3/19.

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