Jacob Sullum on Free Birth Control and Unfree Photographers



According to The New York Times, a case the Supreme Court heard in March, involving a challenge to Obamacare's requirement that businesses pay for their employees' contraceptives, "pits religious liberty against women's rights." Similarly, the recent controversy over an Arizona bill aimed at protecting business owners from being forced to treat homosexual and heterosexual couples alike was widely perceived as a conflict between religious liberty and gay rights. Both of these debates are more accurately described as clashes between real rights and fake rights, says Jacob Sullum, because they pit negative liberty, which requires freedom from external restraint, against positive liberty, which imposes demands on other people's resources. Under the latter vision, giving freedom to one person requires taking it away from another.