Religion Is Not a Basis for Harming Others
Citation: 104 Geo L.J. 1111 (2016)
Increasingly, people are claiming that practicing their religion gives them a right to inflict injuries on others. Court clerks assert their religion gives them a right to refuse to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Businesses claim that their owners’ religious beliefs are a basis for refusing to provide services at same-sex weddings. Employers demand the right to deny insurance coverage to employees for contraceptives. Doctors maintain that they may refuse to provide assisted reproductive technology services to lesbians and same-sex couples. Pharmacists want the right not to fill prescriptions that they see as violating their religious beliefs. Parents profess a religious right to restrict their children from receiving medical care, opting instead for prayer. As we have written in the context of vaccinations, some states provide religious exemptions for parents who wish to withhold this important, basic preventative treatment from their children, placing not only their kids, but also others at risk.