The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion in Ministry at Pacific School of Religion and the ACLU are partnering with national organizations to address the ways in which the concept of religious liberty is being used to further discrimination in the case of Religious Freedom Restoration Act legislation. We are working to develop and amplify an accurate and theologically based perspective of what religious liberty is and how it should be used, including the case for why religious liberty should not be used as a license to discriminate.

On April 18, 2015, we held our first Liberating Religious Liberty symposium in Berkeley, California to address the ways in which the concept of religious liberty is being used to further discrimination and engage people of faith in standing up and speaking out in favor of LGBTQ rights.

CLGS and ACLU Michigan is pleased to partner with a coalition of Michigan-based organizations to hold our second day-long symposium focusing on organizing against Religious Freedom Restoration legislation in the state of Michigan on September 10, 2015 at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center at WSU in Detroit. 

The focus of the symposium will be to articulate a theologically-based and positive definition of religious liberty that explains why religious liberty should not be used as a license to discriminate and how the concept of religious liberty can be used to further religious pluralism in the United States. Our goal is to support clergy and people of faith to become more aware of Religious Freedom arguments against LGBTQ equality and how to counteract them.

We plan to hold future convenings with faith leaders and communities across the country to mobilize against local RFRA bills and counter right-wing distortions of religious liberty.

About the ACLU:

Since its founding, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) has been the guardian of liberty, working in the nation’s courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve individual working rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws of the United States. The ACLU of Michigan firmly supports religious freedom, which is fundamental to personal liberty. We have the absolute right to believe whatever we want about God, faith, and religion, and we have a right to act on those beliefs, unless those actions harm others. The ACLU has fought for decades to defend individual religious freedom, which are already protected by state and federal constitutions.

To learn more about the work of the ACLU please visit: www.aclu.org

About CLGS:

CLGS’ mission is to advance the well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and to transform faith communities and the wider society by taking a leading role in shaping a new public discourse on religion, gender identity and sexuality through education, research, community building and advocacy.

To learn more about the work of CLGS, please visit our website at www.clgs.org.


For any questions about this event, please contact Roland Stringfellow at rstringfellow@clgs.org.