Between religious and LGBTQ rights, what does fairness look like?

by Harry Bruinius, CSM Staff writer @HarryBruinius from United States

148429Brigham Young University junior David Shill sports a rainbow-colored shirt in support of Rainbow Day as he walks on campus in Provo, Utah, March 4, 2021, in support of the campus LGBTQ community. Isaac Hale/The Salt Lake Tribune/AP

May 13. 2021

Casey Pick has always viewed Kim Colby with a certain amount of wary respect. 

Both are accomplished attorneys, and both are advocates for causes that cut to the heart of their deepest selves. They are on opposite sides of what has been one of the nation’s most divisive and intensely personal political debates – about sex, gender, and the civic integrity of religious belief.

Ms. Pick fights for policies that support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) young people, especially transgender youth in crisis. Over the years she’s “crossed swords” with Ms. Colby, one of the country’s leading religious freedom advocates, in face-to-face encounters, competing legal briefs, and policy clashes before legislatures.

“Kim was always one of the tougher negotiators to be in a room with,” Ms. Pick says of Ms. Colby, who’s fought for religious freedom in cases before the United States Supreme Court. “She’s somebody in the room who’s always the last to concede on their side.”

“But it’s also amazing that, for all those ways that she’s so tough and guarded, she also just gives off a hell of a maternal vibe,” Ms. Pick adds.

Neither friends nor colleagues, really, each has cautiously participated over the years in a little-known effort to try to find a different approach to the nation’s media-labeled “culture wars.” In their personal capacities, they’ve been part of a nationwide group of legal scholars, advocates, and legislators exploring whether mutual respect can alter the ferocity of the nation’s political battles.

The movement calls itself Fairness for All, and its goal is to find a legislative compromise for issues that both sides see in identity-defining, existential terms.

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Last edited 6/1/2022 7:08:30 PM

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