Clamorous Coexistence: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the Internal Battle Between Religion and Nondiscrimination Laws

Note from the Digital Editor: In order to highlight the high-level of research and scholarship from the authors who have published in the William & Mary Policy Review’s peer-reviewed print journal, we have reproduced the abstracts from Volume 8, Issue 2 along with a link to an electronic copy of the full form of the piece. 

The United States Commission on Civil Rights is a bipartisan, independent federal agency charged with informing the federal government about civil rights issues and the effectiveness of state and federal civil rights initiatives. In September 2016, the Commission issued a report focused on the potential conflict between religious freedom and antidiscrimination laws with regard to sexual orientation and same-sex marriage. That report, titled Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties, consisted of a short report followed by a large number of individual statements by Commissioners. These individual reports show key disagreements between Commissioners in how the issue was approached. This paper critiques the arguments of the Commissioners and the final report and recommends a more civil and thoughtful approach to addressing the apparent conflict. 

Find the full version of this article in PDF form here.