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In this important new work in political and constitutional theory, Michael Perry elaborates and defends an account of the political morality of liberal democracy: the moral convictions and commitments that in a liberal democracy should govern decisions about what laws to enact and what policies to pursue. The fundamental questions addressed in this book concern (1) the grounding, (2) the content, (3) the implications for one or another moral controversy, and (4) the judicial enforcement of the political morality of liberal democracy. The particular issues discussed include whether government may ban pre-viability abortion, whether government may refuse to extend the benefit of law to same-sex couples, and what role religion should play in the politics and law of a liberal democracy.
Part I. Liberal Democracy, Human Rights, and Religious Faith: 1. Liberal democracy and human rights; 2. Liberal democracy and religious faith; Part II. First Principles: 3. The right to moral equality; 4. The right to religious freedom; 5. Beyond religious freedom: the right to moral freedom; 6. Religion as a basis of lawmaking; Part III. First Principles Applied: 7. Abortion; 8. Same-sex unions; Part IV. The Constitution of Liberal Democracy: 9. Protecting constitutionally entrenched rights: the courts' – in particular, the US Supreme Court's – proper rule.