Balancing the rights of all society with those specific to one group is germane to the workings of the US Constitution. We value religious freedoms and assert the human rights of all our citizens.
Acceptance may be the key in this formula, but for now, we allow law, ethics, and business to muddle the mix. Baruch’s Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity hosted a debate between Business and Religious Accommodations on 3/20 to illumniate.
It was to be a civil debate between two lawyers named Greg one on each side of the seesaw that accommodates the interests of human rights vs those of religions. Gregory Lipper
represented the, shall we say, “liberal” side and Gregory Baylor, the “religious.” I do not mean to imply that the discussion was anything but collegial.
Baylor has litigated for the florist who denied providing a gay couples wedding.He has a long history of defense of Christian rights. He advocates in favor of legal decisions like the one connected to the Hobby Lobby controversy. Baylor refers to these issues as culture clashes.
Lipper considers them as issues of law. He is on the other side of controversies like these. In fact he authored the brief presented to the Supreme Court in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores for Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He litigates church/state issues.
Among those issues left hanging as it were, are questions about how a corporation becomes an entity. “Corporations are people,” as Mitt Romney would have it.
I think not. They are made up of people, but an employer does not have a right to freely express religious beliefs against the interests of his employees. My P.O.V. and not necessarily reflected by all.
Law, ethics, and business practice converged in the Baruch’s Ethics Week program. Gender equality, rights to contraception under healthcare coverage, freedom of religion, exemptions to law that accommodate for religious belief are all central to the issues these two lawyers examine and defend in their professional lives. And on the podium at Baruch.
Next up at the Zicklin Center is a program that looks at business ethics from the point of view of the stories companies tell us about themselves. Telling It Straight: The Story Route to Ethical Business Practice is on April 6th at noon.