Faith-Based Influences on Legislative Decision Making: Emerging Research and Opportunities
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Faith-Based Influences on Legislative Decision Making: Emerging Research and Opportunities

Karla L. Drenner (Purdue University Global, USA)
ISBN13: 9781799868071|ISBN10: 1799868079|EISBN13: 9781799868095|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6807-1


What makes the observation of religion or faith and politics at the state level fascinating are the differences between states. These differences illuminate questions of political culture, religion and democratic participation and significantly add to the understanding of current state of affairs within various states. There exists a rich picture of the role that religion or faith plays in both party and politics. In contrast the literature on the influence of religion among state public officials is still being investigated. Continuing to explore the multifaceted impacts of religion or faith on legislative behavior, will allow us to understand its impacts on various constituencies.

This book will explore how religion influences individual-level legislative decision making to sponsor bills to continue to address same-sex marriage. Bill sponsorship is an important legislative activity because a policy must be proposed before it is legislatively enacted. To the extent that gay issues represent a cultural cleavage between religious traditionalism and progressivism, I expect legislator decision making to be strongly influenced by phenomena that inform culture.

To investigate this possibility, states and legislators featured will be chosen based on the identification of legislation that is in opposition to the intent of the Supreme court ruling. For example, these measures: would create or expand a state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act; bills that would allow or require government employees, for profit business to discriminate against same-sex couples who are married or who are seeking to marry. Other bills could include those that allow individuals to ignore laws that conflict with their religious beliefs about marriage; prohibit adoption; or bills that would require a government official to be fired that recognize the marriage of same-sex couples. Choosing key states and legislators to be included in the project will be finalized after reviewing research.

Great transformations have certainly occurred in the area of sexuality and the politics of sexuality in terms of equality. Public opinion about the status, acceptance, and rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) citizens has been much swifter than many predicted. The consequences of these transformations have led to the intersection of religion/faith and politics in the legislative arena throughout the United States. As such, the potential uses and target audiences (LGBT, Religion, Political Science, Public Administration, LGBT Studies, etc) are numerous including universities, non-profits, associations

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