Drawing the Line

Tackling Tensions Between Religious Freedom and Equality

Throughout history, religious belief has often been a wellspring of motivation and inspiration for those seeking to advance justice and equality. But it has also been used as justification to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, and other religious beliefs.

This report, Drawing the Line: Tackling Tensions Between Religious Freedom and Equality, examines several of the questions now the subject of litigation, public debate, and policy discourse.  It sets out a framework that we believe should guide our analysis and then focuses on three specific areas: religious freedom and the rights of LGBT individuals, religious freedom and reproductive rights, and religious freedom as expressed in appearance. Through the examination of a sampling of key cases, we strive in this report to articulate principles and recommendations that can guide advocates and policymakers.

The report is unique as it is issued by the International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations.  We are committed to upholding freedom of religion and conscience as a fundamental human right to be valued, defended, and protected. At the same time, we are engaged in, and supportive of, efforts to advance equal treatment for groups that have long been oppressed, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, women, and racial and religious minorities.

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