Peacemaking in the Culture Wars Between Gay Rights and Religious Liberty

Event Date: Wednesday May 21, 2008
Time: 8:30-10:00 A.M. (Continental Breakfast at 8:00)
Location: Harvard Law School

Jennifer Brown

Professor Brown’s talk will look at two important legal claims in three recent legal cases. The first claim, increasingly sounded by opponents of marriage rights for same sex couples, worries that when private or governmental institutions create rights for gay and lesbian people, those institutions simultaneously and inevitably infringe opponents’ rights of religious liberty. The second claim, articulated by at least two federal district judges, is that disputes involving these potentially conflicting interests can and should be resolved through mediation.

When these new protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens and their families begin to conflict with other citizens’ practice or expression of religious faith, the potential for and long term benefits of nonlitigated resolution are especially great. She will discuss the reasons why mediation my be a particularly good method for resolving these cases.

Jennifer Brown is a visiting professor at HLS, and professor of law and the director of the Quinnipiac Center on Dispute Resolution at Quinnipiac University School of Law. Her teaching and scholarship focus on gender, sexual orientation, and the law; alternative dispute resolution; and lawyers’ professional responsibility.

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