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Relying on contemporary historical-institutionalist literature concerning processes of American political development, this article argues that the nebulous status of religious rights in the United States is largely a recent phenomenon—the result of one coalition (centered around rights protections for the LGBTQ community) growing and making important strides at the same time that a separate "religious rights” coalition attempts to push beyond a disorienting critical juncture. How long this state of intercurrence will persist, and how it will be resolved, are unresolved questions.