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Chapter 13. Religion and Liberal Democracy

Christopher J. Eberle

Subject Religion
Legal and Political » Political Philosophy

Key-Topics democracy, social issues

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631221272.2002.00014.x


In 1992, Bill McCartney, then head coach of the University of Colorado football team and subsequent founder of “Promise-Keepers,” held a news conference in which he asserted that homosexual lifestyles are an “abomination of almighty God” and on that basis urged his fellow Coloradans to amend their state's constitution. “Amendment 2” would have repealed existing laws in Colorado that prohibit work- and housing-related discrimination against homosexual citizens and would have forbidden the passage of any comparable law elsewhere in that state. McCartney's public advocacy of Amendment 2 turned out to be critically important, as it energized an otherwise moribund petition drive to put Amendment 2 on statewide ballot. Ultimately, however, McCartney's extremely controversial crusade came to naught. Although passed with a slight majority, Amendment 2 was struck down by the United States Supreme Court on grounds that it violates the Equal Protection Clause. McCartney's advocacy of Amendment 2 raises a number of important questions. Not the least of those questions has to do with the moral merits of Amendment 2, e.g., is it morally appropriate for the state to force a landlord who believes that homosexuality is an abomination to let an apartment to homosexual applicants? There are a number of distinct, but no less important, questions that McCartney's advocacy of Amendment 2 raises - questions ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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