Tobias Wolff Hub




Tobias Wolff: ‘Hobby Lobby Decision Supports The Enforceability Of Anti-Discrimination Laws’

Wolff

As pointed out yesterday by Rachel Maddow, in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Hobby Lobby, religious groups have already begun seeking “religious freedom” exemptions from an executive order that bans federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people. While alarm bells have begun to ring for many gay rights advocates, University of Pennsylvania law professor and Obama legal adviser Tobias Wolff has issued a statement that may be intended to allay fears about any potential detrimental impact that Hobby Lobby could have on LGBT rights. Wolff argues that Hobby Lobby does not open the floodgates of state sanctioned anti-gay discrimination on the grounds of first amendment religious exceptionalism, but rather is more limited in scope and in fact upholds anti-discrimination protections.

Wolff writes,

It is important to understand that Hobby Lobby in fact rejects the argument that religious exercise can be an excuse for invidious discrimination. The following is the key passage of the decision, which the Court inserted specifically to respond to the suggestion that its ruling could authorize discrimination in the workplace:

"The principal dissent raises the possibility that discrimination in hiring, for example on the basis of race, might be cloaked as religious practice to escape legal sanction. See post, at 32-33. Our decision today provides no such shield. The Government has a compelling interest in providing an equal opportunity to participate in the workforce without regard to race, and prohibitions on racial discrimination are precisely tailored to achieve that critical goal.” […] 

- In this passage from Hobby Lobby, the Court…makes clear that laws and policies that prohibit discrimination in the workplace are "precisely tailored to achieve that critical goal". In other words, it is the act of discriminating itself -- which deprives the individual worker of "an equal opportunity to participate in the workforce" -- that inflicts the harm that the government has a compelling interest to eradicate. This passage strongly repudiates the argument that opponents sometimes make that there is no compelling interest in enforcing anti-discrimination laws if a person could find another job or patronize another business. Every act of private discrimination works a serious harm that the government has a compelling interest in eradicating.

In the days ahead, it is important that advocates and leaders strongly push out the message that the Hobby Lobby decision strongly supports the enforceability of anti-discrimination laws, even in the face of religious exemption arguments. Hobby Lobby represents a vindication of the principle that anti-discrimination protections should trump religious objections in the workplace.

You can read Wolff’s full statement, AFTER THE JUMP…

Continue reading "Tobias Wolff: ‘Hobby Lobby Decision Supports The Enforceability Of Anti-Discrimination Laws’" »


Watch: Rachel Maddow Interviews Obama Adviser Tobias Wolff About DOMA from a Very Loud Bar

Maddow_wolfe

Rachel Maddow spoke about the DOMA announcement with '08 Obama campaign legal adviser Tobias Wolff. Incidentally, Maddow is broadcasting from a bar in Lawrence, Kansas. It's not a gay bar, although she does get some gay background kissing action at one point.

Said Wolff: "I think it's going to have an impact not just on the DOMA litigation but on civil rights litigation all around the country."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: Rachel Maddow Interviews Obama Adviser Tobias Wolff About DOMA from a Very Loud Bar" »


News: Men's Vogue, Brazil, Michael Steele, Namibia, Chupacabra

RoadFinger bitten off at health care protest in Thousand Oaks, California.

Marcjacobs RoadMen's Vogue really did deserve to fail.

RoadMythical Chupacabra found in Texas?

RoadNamibia to hold first gay rights march: "About 40 people are expected to take part in the event supported by Czech Republic NGO People in Need (PiN). In a press statement issued yesterday, PiN Sexual Minorities Co-ordinator Jacobus Witbooi said the march would also mark the inauguration of a new project for sexual minorities known as Ada Ma /Hao, meaning 'Let's Stand Together'."

RoadDaniel Craig grows a pornstache...

RoadLady Gaga's VMA performance "to inspire a movement."

RoadVirginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert McDonnell backs away from 1989 graduate thesis: "Man’s basic nature is inclined towards evil, and when the exercise of liberty takes the shape of pornography, drug abuse, or homosexuality, the government must restrain, punish, and deter."

RoadOutsports interviews Johnny Weir.

Chace RoadChace Crawford pulled in to bad photo shoot.

RoadFocus on the Family to cut 75 more jobs: "an 8 percent reduction in a workforce that already has been cut twice since September 2008."

RoadTobias Wolff on gender identity protections and making the case.

RoadGrad student interrupts RNC Chair Michael Steele to tell him about her mother who died of cancer because she couldn't afford chemotherapy medications. Steele's response: "So people go to town halls, they go out to the community, and they're like this. [shakes fists] It makes for great TV. You'll probably make it tonight. Enjoy it." Watch.

Dom RoadBrazilian magazine DOM shuts down: "not only because of the recession and the difficulty in finding advertisers willing to support a gay publication in Brazil, but also because of internal management issues."

RoadSamantha Jones hits Sex and the City 2 set.

RoadDSquared2's Dan and Dean Caten to get star on Canada's Walk of Fame: "It's the hugest award that we've received so far. It's an inspiration for all young Canadians: The sky's the limit, you can do whatever you want to do if you put your mind to it. It doesn't matter where you come from, it's where you want to go."

RoadMariah Carey works her early 90's look.

RoadWashington state poll: support for same-sex domestic partnerships increases. "In 2006, about 59 percent of registered voters in Washington supported either same-sex marriage or domestic partnerships with the full rights of marriage, compared with 41 percent who favor fewer rights for such couples. But by 2008, 66 percent of registered voters said they supported same-sex marriage (36.7 percent) or full domestic partnerships (29.3 percent). Just 32.6 percent were in support of lesser rights."


Tobias Wolff and Lou Dobbs Rip NOM's Maggie Gallagher on DOMA

Maggie

Lou Dobbs hosted law professor Tobias Wolff and the National Organization for Marriage's Maggie Gallagher to discuss the Obama administration's recent brief that said it is obligated to defend DOMA but believes that it is discriminatory and should be repealed.

Gallagher demonstrates just why the wingnut talking points on same-sex marriage just aren't working anymore. Sane folks are finally demanding answers to that old right-wing chestnut that same-sex marriages somehow threaten heterosexual marriages.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Tobias Wolff and Lou Dobbs Rip NOM's Maggie Gallagher on DOMA" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged