Do religious freedom rights supersede other rights?

Hey everyone. I have a question. I was debating about the Equality Act on Facebook and I said that I object to it because it would impinge on religious freedom. Then, someone asked if my religious freedom rights supersede other people’s rights, supposedly the right to not be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Anyway, I’m not sure how to respond to this. My gut instinct is that religious freedom rights are the most important rights we have and so they do supersede other rights but I’m not sure. If that is true, how can I say this without coming across as overly offensive?

All rights have their origin in God. Any earthly power that can grant rights can also take them away.

If this is what you truly believe, then you need to get over worrying about it “coming across as offensive”.


The way I would handle this is to ask the person do these other rights supercede religious freedom rights. See if he dares to say yes.

My opinion is that religious rights are not the most important rights. But neither are those other ones that you mentioned.

Maybe it shouldn’t be one set superseding the other. Rather, they should be equal with each other, which I believe was the original intent. No one is forced to go to religious-run institutions or buy from Christian businesses. If you don’t agree with their beliefs and practices, then don’t interact with them.

Frankly, most of these conflicts don’t need to happen but wealthy vindictive activists deliberately target Christians. If these activists and their followers got over themselves and moved on, these conflicts wouldn’t happen. Now, that’s my opinion and some will get “offended” but I’m blunt.


Do other people’s religious rights override yours?


Context is all important for this question, it really depends on the specifics of the situation. It’s the whole bakers question being re asked for the millionth time.


In the case of the Baker question, I don’t even think there is a conflict between these rights.

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There is and, in the UK at least, context is king. Ask a baker for cake that says ‘support gay marriage’, then the bakers religious rights trump the right to express a political opinion. If you ask a baker for a wedding cake for a gay marriage, then the couple’s right to equal service trump’s the bakers religious freedom.

As I’ve said in this forum before, if a product can be sold to another person and youre not selling it then it is discrimination. If you don’t provide that service to anybody then there is no discrimation.

So in your examples, the Baker doesnt make a cake that says ‘support gay marriage’ to Anybody (not even heterosexual couples) hence there is no discrimination and no conflict of rights. In the second scenario if the Baker can provide an exactly same cake to another heterosexual couple then there is discrimination and the gay couple deserve equal treatment.

So the right for equal treatment demands the context of an equal product.

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Usually when people say someone is being discriminated against on the basis of their sexual preference or identity by a religious person, what usually happened is that a religious person refused to do something that shows approval of their lifestyle or helps facilitate an act they consider immoral. It has nothing to do with the person and everything to do with actions.


Rights are rarely in conflict. Rather one’s duties to respect others rights are often at issue.

Start with the “right”: Does one have a moral right to require (by force of law) another to participate in the celebration of a disordered lifestyle? No.

Does one have a moral duty to respect the religious freedom of another to believe homosexual unions are evil? Yes.

Initially, the LGBQT (did I leave out the latest letter for some new disorder?) community worked to legalize immoral acts, that is to decriminalize such behaviors. OK. Having succeeded, the community works now to normalize those behaviors, that is remove any societal strictures. Decriminalize, yes. Normalize, NO.

Is it sometimes overly offensive to speak the truth? I suppose. But I think one can never be overly defensive when truth is under attack.

People don’t have the right to not be discriminated against. Natural rights allow us to discriminate. Man made rights which infringe upon our God given freedoms prevent that.


Are you talking about the 2010 Act of the UK Parliament or the bill currently awaiting consideration by the US Senate? In either case I’d say that where different rights appear to be in conflict it is for courts to interpret the law.

In the British context the case that people always cite is Lee v. Ashers Baking Company Ltd and others, but there have been other cases that have attracted less media interest.

For example, R (Williamson) v. Secretary of State for Education and Employment, which, in short, held that the right of children not to be beaten at school prevailed over the right of certain fundamentalist Christian groups to beat children in accordance with their particular interpretation of the Bible.

There are also, of course, many cases in which judges have ruled that children may be given blood products despite objections from parents who are Jehovah’s Witnesses.

So, in short, religious freedom is often subordinate to other rights.

It is certainly “overly offensive” to use the term “disorder” in this context.


I think not. Would it be overly offensive to label bestiality, adultery or promiscuity as “disordered” behaviors or acts as well?

“Disordered” simply means the act in se does not intend the good end for which the act naturally aims but a deviated one, a disordered end, usually self-gratification.

Your thread title/question has a fundamental problem.

In a multi-religious society, we maintain a polite fiction that all religions are equally valid.

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Nice. Comparing people within the LGBQT community with people who have sex with animals. ‘Well, they’re all disordered aren’t they?’ I’m sure that any young Catholics struggling with their sexuality that read that will draw some conclusions about where they could turn to for help and understanding.

A great example of why you have already lost the debate.


It depends. A follower of the Islamic State does not have the religious right to kill anyone who does not follow their particular narrow brand of Islam.

On the other hand, there is no general right to ban Islamic face coverings, unless there are good reasons: security for example in situations where a full-face motorcycle helmet would also be banned. Similarly for the Sikh kirpan, which generally gets an exemption from laws against carrying knives.

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Read what I posted. I see you’re still struggling with your penchant to starwman other posters?

Catholics are taught to judge the act, not the person. In the morally relative world, all acts may be permissible but not so in the Catholic world. There is no charity in affirming to one struggling with a sexual disorder that their behavior is normal.

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The ‘as well’ referred to ‘the LGBQT community’, who you stated were ‘disordered’. No acts mentioned. Except later to bring in bestiality as a comparison. Not just adultery or sex with more than one partner. But sex with animals.

Again, any Christians struggling with their sexuality will draw their own conclusions. Maybe a young girl who has found she finds that she is emotionally and physically attracted to another confused girl. Been to bed you say? Well, that’s just the same as having sex with an animal.

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