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Equal Citizenship and Public ReasonA Feminist Political Liberalism$
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Christie Hartley and Lori Watson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190683023

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190683023.001.0001

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Religious Exemptions

Religious Exemptions

(p.106) 5 Religious Exemptions
Equal Citizenship and Public Reason

Christie Hartley

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers whether political liberals can recognize exemptions from generally applicable laws when those laws substantially burden living in accordance with a religious comprehensive doctrine. It is argued that in some cases political liberals can recognize religious accommodations or exemptions. However, political liberals cannot single out religion, in particular, for special treatment; when other commitments function in the same way, those commitments should enjoy the same status as religious commitments. Nevertheless, it is claimed that political liberals cannot recognize exemptions or accommodations on any basis when a law is needed to secure and protect the equal standing of all persons as free and equal citizens.

Keywords:   political liberalism, public reason, religion, religious exemptions, civil rights, discrimination, gay and lesbian

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