Liberty is a deeply contested battleground in the court of law and the court of public opinion. Advocates have won judicial rulings cementing marriage rights and reproductive rights, but opponents of these rights are waging a guerilla war that relies on upside-down claims to liberty. A united opposition deliberately harmonizes its strategies to simultaneously weaken LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights. For example, advocates of conversion therapy and fake abortion clinics (called “crisis pregnancy centers”) assert that their First Amendment rights trump the health care needs of LGBTQ people and women, relying on the same recent Supreme Court case law. Similarly, the Trump Administration has enacted regulations which dramatically expand religious and moral exemptions, and thereby seek to broadly deny healthcare to LGBTQ people and women, even though LGBTQ and reproductive rights advocates actively challenge them. These so-called proponents of ‘liberty’ oppose access to assisted reproduction based on LGBTQ animus and claims that embryos have personhood. Recent manifestos, including Project Blitz and the American Charter of Freedom of Religion and Conscience, seek to provide a legal and cultural grounding for the “liberty” of certain religious claimants to overcome the claims to liberty and equality of LGBTQ people and women alike.
CLE Materials I, II