College of Law receives gift to launch Fairness for All Initiative

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The University of Illinois College of Law has received a gift from the Templeton Religion Trust to support the Fairness For All Initiative under the direction of Robin Fretwell Wilson, the Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law, director of the Family Law and Policy Program, and co-director of the Epstein Health Law and Policy Program.

The Fairness For All Initiative seeks to provide tangible advice and assistance to thought-leaders, stakeholders and policymakers, including legislators at all levels of government, who seek balanced approaches affirming both LGBT rights and religious freedom.

“As Utah’s landmark legislation showed, our laws can combine sorely needed protections against discrimination for the LGBT community with religious liberty protections for people of faith who adhere to a traditional view of marriage,” Wilson said. “Protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people from discrimination based on irrelevant characteristics is the right thing to do. These laws need not wash out the religious character of faith communities—quite the contrary, balanced measures advance the interests of the faith community and the LGBT community alike.”

Until the Fairness For All Initiative, legislators had few sources of expert support as they confronted the complex task of crafting nuanced laws that protect both communities. The Initiative helps fill that vacuum at a crucial time when Americans are hungry for commonsense approaches that respect our pluralist diversity.

As part of the Initiative, Wilson will convene Fairness For All summits around the country at which she will bring together key stakeholders and assist them in their efforts to secure balanced legislation that respects all citizens.