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 that trump the health care needs of LGBTQ people and women, relying on the same recent Supreme Court case law. Similarly, the Trump administration’s regulations dramatically expanding religious and moral exemptions seek to broadly deny health care to LGBTQ people and women, and are challenged by LGBTQ and reproductive rights advocates working together. Access to assisted reproduction is opposed 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.
Speakers: Michele Brachter Goodwin (University of California Irvine Law School); Shannon Minter (National Center for Lesbian Rights); Scott Ruskay-Kidd (Center for Reproductive Rights); Edwith Theogene (Center for Reproductive Rights)