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Citing Baker’s “Win,” Arizona Court Rejects Stationary Store’s Opt-Out Claim

Citing Baker’s “Win,” Arizona Court Rejects Stationary Store’s Opt-Out Claim

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | The precedent established by a Supreme Court decision can often depend on how lower courts interpret it. The quick takeaway from last week’s Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling was that it was a “win” for baker Jack Phillips, since the court reversed the discrimination rulings against him by the Colorado Court of Appeals […]

Anti-Gay Colorado Baker Prevails in Narrow Ruling

Anti-Gay Colorado Baker Prevails in Narrow Ruling

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | The US Supreme Court ruled on June 4 that overt hostility to religion tainted the decision process at the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when it ruled that baker Jack Phillips and his Masterpiece Cakeshop had unlawfully discriminated against Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins in 2012 by refusing to make them […]

Appeals Court Finds Sex Bias in Trans Funeral Director’s Firing

Appeals Court Finds Sex Bias in Trans Funeral Director’s Firing

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | A unanimous three-judge panel of the Cincinnati-based US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on March 7 that a Michigan funeral home violated federal anti-discrimination law by terminating a funeral director who announced she would be transitioning during her vacation and return to work as a woman. Rejecting a ruling […]

Religious B&B Owner Loses Bid to Discriminate

Religious B&B Owner Loses Bid to Discriminate

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | The Intermediate Court of Appeals of Hawaii has affirmed a ruling by the state’s First Circuit Court that an owner-occupied bed & breakfast violated the state’s public accommodations law by refusing to rent a room to a lesbian couple from California seeking vacation accommodations. The opinion for a three-judge panel of […]

Cisgender Students Rebuffed in Illinois Bathroom Case

Cisgender Students Rebuffed in Illinois Bathroom Case

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | Federal District Judge Jorge L. Alonso ruled on December 29 that a group of parents and cisgender students are not entitled to a preliminary injunction blocking Township High School District 211 in suburban Chicago from allowing transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. Alonso’s ruling […]

Justices Press Both Sides Hard in Wedding Cake Case

Justices Press Both Sides Hard in Wedding Cake Case

BY MATTHEW SKINNER | The courtroom of the Supreme Court of the United States was the site on Tuesday of a high-stakes debate over the future of the right to refuse service or public accommodations based on religious grounds and the fate of American civil rights laws, as the justices questioned four attorneys at the oral […]

Another Fed Court Win for Trans Students

Another Fed Court Win for Trans Students

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | A federal court judge in Pennsylvania has denied a school district’s motion to dismiss Title IX and equal protection claims by an elementary school transgender student denied the right to use the girls’ bathroom consistent with her gender identity. On November 22, District Judge Robert D. Mariani, ruling on a […]

Anti-Gay Wedding Venue’s First Amendment Claims Advance

Anti-Gay Wedding Venue’s First Amendment Claims Advance

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | A federal judge in Michigan has refused to dismiss a farmer’s lawsuit claiming he was unconstitutionally excluded from participating in a farmer’s market because of his policy against allowing same-sex couples to marry on his farm, which also serves as a popular wedding venue. The case presents an unusual example of “extraterritorial” […]

Bigoted Wedding Videographers Lose in Federal Court

Bigoted Wedding Videographers Lose in Federal Court

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | For the first time, a federal judge has ruled that for-profit businesses do not enjoy a constitutional right to refuse to provide services to same-sex weddings on the same basis they provide them for different-sex weddings. The September 20 ruling from Chief Judge John R. Tunheim of the US District […]

Supreme Court Agrees to Consider Exemptions from Gay Rights Laws

Supreme Court Agrees to Consider Exemptions from Gay Rights Laws

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | The US Supreme Court, on June 26, agreed to hear an appeal of a Colorado Court of Appeals ruling that Jack C. Phillips does not have a First Amendment right for his business, Masterpiece Cakeshop, to refuse an order to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The high […]

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