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First Liberty Briefing

First Liberty Briefing is an exclusive podcast hosted by First Liberty Institute’s Deputy General Counsel Jeremy Dys. In about 90-seconds, once a week, Jeremy recalls the stories that have shaped America’s religious liberty, from the founding era to current legal battles and more. It’s an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people, and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.
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Nov 25, 2019

Cases have recently reached the U.S. Supreme Court hinging on the court’s definition of “sex” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The justices’ potential altering of this definition would greatly injure the democratic process as well as the state of religious liberty in America. Learn more at FirstLiberty.org/Briefing.


The day after the Supreme Court of the United States opened the 2019-2020 term of the court, the Justices heard argument in three cases over what is meant by a single word in a federal statute.

The cases involve two homosexual men and one transgendered woman terminated from their jobs because of their sexual orientation.  The federal statute, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of, among other things, a person’s sex. That’s the word up for debate. 

Activists have labored since at least 1974 to update Title VII’s definition of sex to include any number of gender identities and sexual orientations, but Congress has declined to act.

Part of the reason for that has to do with the very real fear expressed by religious conservatives at the potential loss of key religious liberty protections.  They fear becoming the next Aaron and Melissa Klein. 

Cutting off that democratic debate—one that allows concerns for the protection of religious liberty to be accounted for—is unwise.  The question everyone should be asking is what does yet another decision on a significant cultural question by judges mean for our democratic republic? 

Equality and nondiscrimination means very little in the hands of a democracy that can be altered by the stroke of the judicial pen.

To learn how First Liberty is protecting religious liberty for all Americans, visit FirstLiberty.org.

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