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Wednesday, March 6 • 10:45 - 12:45
#6/149 – Law & Religion: conscience and conformity of behaviour

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This panel discusses legal reconciliations of conflicting interests with regards to services provided to same-sex couples, in particular with regard to recent cases on “wedding cakes” from Northern American and European jurisdictions. While religious individuals claim that the provision of such services renders them complicit in celebrating what they believe to be sinful or morally wrong, recipients of service-refusals argue that their dignity as equal members of the political, spiritual and economic community is being undermined. Courts have been struggling to reconcile such conflicts while seeking to avoid accusations of undermining both religious freedom and equality in the public space. This panel will reflect on the rationale offered by courts in resolving such conflicts: How can respect for the equal dignity of every member of the community be reconciled with the principle of both equality and religious freedom? This panel welcomes proposals that engage with legal argumentation.

  • Mariëtta D.C. van der Tol (University of Cambridge)

  • Joel Hanisek (Trinity College Dublin) - The Newly Wed and Nearly Dead: An egalitarian examination of space-based ritual and the rights of conscience
  • John Adenitire (Cambridge University) - Balancing Freedom Of Conscience And The Right To Non-Discrimination On The Ground Of Sexual Orientation: Beyond Ongoing Culture Wars
  • Stijn Smet (University of Hasselt) - The “Cake Cases”: Can the Law Tolerate, or Should it Respect Conscientious Objections to Same-Sex Marriage?
  • Bryana Tunder (Trinity College Dublin) - Can we have our cake and eat it too?: legal debates over LGBT+ rights and religious freedom in a post-legalisation reality

Language: English


Mariëtta D.C. van der Tol

University of Cambridge


John Adenitire

University of Cambridge

Joel Hanisek

Trinity College Dublin

Bryana Tunder

Trinity College Dublin

Stijn Smet

University of Hasselt

  • Language English
  • Language English