Washington Law Review


Arianna Nord


Recent increases in LGBTQ+ anti-discrimination laws have generated new conversations in the free exercise of religion debate. While federal courts have been wrestling with claims brought under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment since the nineteenth century, city and state efforts to codify legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals in the mid-twentieth century birthed novel challenges. Private individuals who do not condone intimate same-sex relationships and/or gender non-conforming behavior, on religious grounds seek greater legal protection for the ability to refuse to offer goods and services to LGBTQ+ persons. Federal and state courts must determine how to resolve these competing discriminations. This Comment addresses which standard of review federal courts ought to apply when considering whether LGBTQ+-protective laws violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

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