Proportionality, Equality Laws, and Religion: Conflicts in England, Canada, and the USA, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Proportionality, Equality Laws, and Religion

Conflicts in England, Canada, and the USA, 1st Edition

By Megan Pearson


216 pages

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This book considers how the law should manage conflicts between the right of religious freedom and that of non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. These disputes are often high-profile and frequently receive a lot of media attention and public debate. Starting from the basis that both these rights are valuable and worthy of protection, but that such disputes are often characterised by animosity, it contends that a proportionality analysis provides the best method for resolving these conflicts. The work takes a comparative approach, examining the law in England and Wales, Canada, and the USA and examines four main areas of law, considering how a proportionality approach could be used in each. The book will be an invaluable resource for students and researchers in the areas of Public Law, Human Rights Law, Law and Religion, Discrimination Law, and Comparative Law.


'An important and well-focused contribution to a pressing academic and policy debate.'

Professor Peter Edge, Oxford Brookes University, UK

'The author tackles one of the hardest and most controversial problems in human rights and equality law. By way of calm, careful and thorough analysis, enhanced by comparative material, she shows that the rigorous application of proportionality's justificatory structure produces balanced solutions which can hope to command a high degree of legitimacy.'

Professor Julian Rivers, University of Bristol Law School, UK

'The legal conflict between freedom of religion and other human rights is one of the most vexed questions of our age. All too often participants in these debates take entrenched positions and talk past each other. Megan Pearson’s scholarly and insightful book is not only a timely and comprehensive guide but also points to the nuanced and practical ways in which seemingly irreconcilable arguments can be treated with full respect.'

Professor Ian Leigh, University of Durham, UK

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Legal Frameworks

3. Resolving Conflicts Between Religion and Other Claims

4. Interference and Justification

5. Proportionality

6. Religious Claims in Secular Employment

7. Discrimination and Religious Employment

8. Religious Organisations and Services

9. The Secular Marketplace and Religious Claims

10. Conclusion

About the Author

Megan Pearson is a Teaching Fellow in Employment and Public Law at the University of Southampton, UK.

About the Series

ICLARS Series on Law and Religion

ICLARS Series on Law and Religion

The ICLARS Series on Law and Religion is designed to provide a forum for the rapidly expanding field of research in law and religion. The series is published in association with the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, an international network of scholars and experts of law and religion founded in 2007 with the aim of providing a place where information, data and opinions can easily be exchanged among members and made available to the broader scientific community ( The series aims to become a primary source for students and scholars while presenting authors with a valuable means to reach a wide and growing readership.

The series editors are currently welcoming proposals for this new series on any matter falling under ‘law and religion’ widely defined. Collections arising from important conferences and events are welcome as well as monographs by both established names and new voices (including monographs based on doctoral dissertations). Also of interest are interdisciplinary works and studies of particular jurisdictions.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Civil Law
LAW / Civil Rights