On gay marriage, claiming 'religious liberty' dodges the real dispute

Americans have been balancing religious liberty and equality for a long time. Protections for LGBT Americans are consistent with the deal we struck.

Arizona anit-gay law
(Image credit: (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin))

Ideological opponents in the religious liberty and gay marriage debate seem to be talking past one another. The Week's Michael Brendan Dougherty's recent admonition — that liberals should care about both egalitarianism and cultural pluralism — is a good example.

It's not that he's wrong. Of course liberals should care about the equal rights of gay couples while also tolerating the religious beliefs of conservatives. Michael also helped clarify where conservatives are coming from: They see pluralism being overrun by egalitarianism, when a balance needs to be struck between those two imperatives.

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