Neoliberal cultural and economic forces have unevenly mainstreamed lgbt and disability movements. For example, activism on behalf of same-sex marriage often positions gay people as the perfect neoliberal subjects. Because neoliberalism depends on private solutions to all problems, the family takes on an increasingly important role as the provider of goods and services like caring labor for interests those who are young or elderly. Some gay marriage advocates have happily embraced the idea that gay people will take up these responsibilities for their newly formed families without asking anything more of the government than the right to marry. Such narrow campaigns for gay marriage do not support the right to develop a multitude of different kinds of relationships that might provide caring labor, nor do they support social responses, such as government-supported day care, to the question of who is to provide labor. In other words, when gay marriage is promoted in neoliberal terms, gay marriage activists are willing to accept and even promote privatized understandings of the need for care in exchange for mainstream acceptance of gay relationships. And as both lgbt and disability movements have, in different ways, accepted this type of mainstreaming and gone to market, as Alexandra Chasin has put it, they have narrowed their political vision and sacrificed commitments and solidarities that formerly defined them.
Neoliberalism positions the move of previously public functions into the private sphere of the market as an unequivocal good and unquestionable common sense. As a corollary, any barriers to the workings of that market (and barriers to the flow of capital) should be eliminated through various kinds of deregulation. Proponents of neoliberalism advocate deregulation even if that deregulation requires (or has required in practice) an increasing regulation on the movement of peoples. And neoliberalism, while promising unparalleled freedom and unstoppable growth, exacerbates all kinds of inequalities around the globe. Neoliberal ideology displays a special genius at making lopsided growth, wealth for a few, and immiseration for many more, seem sexy, progressive, and modern. This positioning of neoliberalism as more progressive than conservative regulation, and as the wave of development and the future, means that activist projects can become vehicles for neoliberal policies rather than for social change that will actually challenge the distribution of wealth and power. Neoliberalism is, as Gérard Duménil and Dominique lévy write, a predatory system: it is predatory on the liberatory energies our movements have generated, the resistant identifications we shape, the resources we might access, and the radical openness to alternative futures that (appears to. Lgbt and disability movements have not been immune to these dangers.
Lisa duggans essay in this issue for a description of neoliberalism sometimes offers a limited recognition to representative gay or disabled people. This recognition depends on an acceptance of dominant norms, but for the singular difference of being gay or of being disabled. So for example, lisa duggan has argued that some proponents of a narrow version of gay rights have built a homonormativity, that mirrors dominant norms—white, middle-class and family-oriented—but for the single difference of same-gendered partners in marital relationships. Similarly, disabled people who seek to mirror the dominant society but for the single difference of physical ability can create a politics that excludes queers and others whose identities set them apart from the dominant norms of white, middle-class family life. Such a politics of singular difference can shut down coalition across identities—such as the crip/queer solidarity i am arguing for here—and can also undermine organizing around issues (poverty, health care, the destruction of the environment, and so forth) not directly connected to identity. Neoliberalism is the dominant economic and cultural system of our time. It is a system that positions the market as the answer to everything. Any problem is supposed to be best addressed—most effectively and efficiently—through the market.
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Of course, many self-identified crips—a term increasingly embraced across the spectrum of disability, not solely by those with mobility impairments—also identify as queer. Many others would insist that the defiant reclaiming and reinvention of crip is linked to benefits the critical reinvention—by activists, artists, and scholars—of queer. Most important, queer and crip activisms share a will to remake the world, given the ways in which injustice, oppression, and hierarchy are built (sometimes quite literally) into the structures intern of contemporary society. For crip activists, the will to remake the world manifests itself in numerous ways. Make it Accessible or Well Piss Anywhere one crack-and-peel sticker exclaims. This in-your-face crip assertion, designed to plaster buildings and other locations that make no room for disabled people, transforms a given space by bringing to light the exclusions that structure.
A space that seems open to anyone who might occupy it is exposed as actually constituting very narrow notions of openness and propriety. Bodies and bodily practices perceived as non-normative are forever positioned outside of the public that might inhabit such spaces and, through a mixture of flamboyant anger and camp humor, the crack-and-peel sticker, like many queer interventions over the past few decades, pushes toward more expansive. In the spirit of the stickers crip clarity (make it accessible this essay offers a relatively straightforward thesis: a vibrant queer politics must incorporate a vibrant crip politics (and vice versa). The project of building crip/queer solidarity is not as straightforward as it might first seem, however. In particular, the current political and economic system, called neoliberalism by political theorists (see.
Verdict columnist Marci hamilton has long argued that the federal rfra is unconstitutional on a variety of grounds, including in a brief in the pending Supreme court cases. As i explained in a recent essay on, scotusblog, i consider the arguments against rfras validity to be weaker than Hamilton does, but I share her policy worry that political actors may be taking the argument for religious exemptions too far. That reassessment is part of a broader shift. Since the enactment of the federal rfra in 1993, the bipartisan support for religious exemptions has eroded. Increasingly, liberals worry that social conservatives are using broad claims of religious liberty to undermine other important values, especially equality. Thus, while nearly everyone agrees that no priest, minister, imam, or rabbi should be required to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony that his or her religion forbids, many of us are wary of claims by wedding florists, bakers, and photographers that their religious beliefs entitle.
The core problem is that our law does not yet fully reflect those equality norms. For its part, the supreme court has not expressly held that the constitution treats sexual orientation as a presumptively invalid ground for discrimination, although it has offered hints in that direction. Meanwhile, federal statutes forbid private discrimination based on race, sex, religion, and other illicit criteria, but not based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Past efforts have come close to filling this gap, but with the exception of the historic 2010 vote to repeal the dont-Ask-dont-Tell law, congress has failed to enact civil rights legislation to protect lgbt americans against discrimination. If Congress were to update our civil rights laws—and if it were to do so in a way that made clear that these laws are only subject to narrowly-confined religious exemptions—then state laws like the Arizona bill would be ineffective, because they would be preempted. Congress should act now to render irrelevant state laws that define religious freedom so broadly as to license prejudice. Some of the most confrontational contemporary disability politics seem closely related to a range of queer activisms from the past few decades.
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In practice, however, even the Arizona bill would likely be operative only with respect to sexual-orientation discrimination. Federal statutes already forbid places of public accommodation from discriminating on the basis of race and sex, and under the constitutions Supremacy Clause, state law best cannot provide exemptions from federal law. Whether a general expansion of a state rfra would be vulnerable to an anti-animus challenge is unclear. On one hand, pdf it seems clear that the primary motive of the supporters of such laws is resistance to sexual-orientation equality, which is a kind of animus. On the other hand, the laws struck down in the prior anti-animus cases in the supreme court specifically targeted lgbt persons as such. Moreover, the push for expanded religious exemptions is not limited to laws involving sexual orientation, as the pending Supreme court litigation over the aca contraception mandate illustrates. Thus, it is possible that the backers of the Arizona bill really are concerned about granting very broad protection to religious liberty, rather than (or in addition to) limiting the equality rights of lgbt americans. The need for Federal Legislation, from the beginning, some observers warned that allowing religious exemptions from general laws was dangerous. For example, cardozo law Professor and.
Windsor reaffirmed the anti-animus principle. Given the motives of those who support the expansion of religious exemptions, it is not difficult to construct an argument that the new laws would deny equal protection. However, that argument would be easier to make in some states than in others. Some of the proposed expansions of religious liberty are specifically limited to issues of sexual orientation or same-sex marriage. For example, a proposal for an Oregon ballot initiative preservation and a bill in Tennessee take that form. But the Arizona bill would go further. It would authorize religious exemptions for businesses from all state laws, including those forbidding race and sex discrimination. Under the bill, if the owners of a restaurant had a religious objection to a state law requiring them to serve customers regardless of race, they could, in principle, be protected under the Arizona bill.
rfra covered individuals and religious entities such as churches; the expanded version would also cover associations, corporations, and other business organizations. In addition, the Arizona bill that passed last week would make the state rfra applicable in private litigation—for example, by photographers or bakers who refuse to serve same-sex couples. Are Expanded Exemptions Constitutional? Would laws expanding religious exemptions be constitutional? In the 1996 case. Evans, the supreme court interpreted the constitution to forbid laws that reflect animus against gay and lesbian Americans. Last years decision.
Smith that the Free exercise Clause provides no shield against laws that do not specifically target religion. The, smith ruling was broadly unpopular. At the federal level, it led to the bipartisan passage of the religious Freedom Restoration Act (rfra) in 1993. As its name suggests, rfra restores the pre. Smith rule, under which religious exceptions are granted even when a law does not specifically single out religion. Supreme court held in 1997 that rfra could not be validly applied to state or local laws, way it remains valid as applied to federal laws, and serves as the basis for the challenges to the contraception mandate of the Affordable care Act, which is currently. Meanwhile, most states provide religious exceptions to their own laws under state constitutional provisions and state-level rfras.
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Last week, the essay Arizona legislature approved a bill that, if signed by governor Jan Brewer, would greatly expand the scope of religious exemptions from nondiscrimination law in that state. Like measures that have been proposed in other states, the Arizona bill grows out of a fear by people who are opposed to same-sex marriage that they will be required to provide services to same-sex couples. Whether such proposals are constitutional remains to be seen. For now, though, they underscore the pressing need for federal legislation barring sexual-orientation discrimination. Religious Freedom and General Laws, prior to 1990, the Free exercise Clause of the first Amendment to the. Constitution was understood to prevent government from enforcing its laws upon persons who had sincere religious objections to complying with those laws—unless the government could show that enforcing the law over the religious objection was necessary to serve a compelling interest. But in 1990, the supreme court ruled.