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College of William & Mary Law School

Freedom of Religion

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William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice

First Amendment

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Public Accommodation Statutes And Sexual Orientation: Should There Be A Religious Exemption For Secular Businesses?, Lucien J. Dhooge Feb 2015

Public Accommodation Statutes And Sexual Orientation: Should There Be A Religious Exemption For Secular Businesses?, Lucien J. Dhooge

William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice

This Article examines the issue of whether there should be a religious exemption for secular businesses from public accommodation statutes that protect prospective patrons from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The Article examines this issue in the context of protecting free exercise of religion versus offering services to all members of the public equally and without distinction. The Article concludes that the perceived threat to religious liberty posed by such statutes is exaggerated, that the consequences of granting exemptions would be harmful, and that state-sanctioned discrimination is contrary to the fundamental principles of justice and equality underlying the ...