Steve Chapman on Why Religious Freedom Is Still Worth Protecting


Credit: DrGBB / photo on flickr

Gay rights groups and their allies were outraged when Indiana enacted a "religious freedom" measure that let businesses refuse to take part in same-sex weddings and other events they find objectionable. Opponents of the new law had an unassailable goal: protecting a small group of people from having their freedom trampled by an unsympathetic majority.

Funny thing, Steve Chapman explains: That's exactly what religious freedom laws were designed to do. These laws have gotten a bad name from Indiana—where the legislature didn't place a high priority on such liberty until gay marriage arrived. But they have an honorable pedigree and considerable value. Their point is not to promote mistreatment, but to prevent it.