The University of St. Thomas hosted a fascinating program on religious liberty on June 28.
I attach my own address to the conference in which I discuss the role of lawyers in fighting for religious and other liberties, drawing on the example of Thomas More who died for his own convictions while being tolerant of others. Recall that his dispute with King Henry VIII began with an issue that is still with us today -- differing views over the validity of a marriage.
I side with the Catholic Church on the recent birth control controversy, although I personally favor birth control, and I side with the Catholic Church in its opposition to any government effort to require it or affiliated organizations to recognize same sex marriages. I make clear, however, that the State has no right to prevent people from buying birth control, an issue that has already been decided, and that I disagree strongly with the Catholic bishops support for constitutional amendments in Minnesota and elsewhere that restrict the freedom to marry. It is the job of lawyers to protect the religious and other freedoms of everybody, not just themselves.