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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 […]

Fired Anti-Gay Atlanta Fire Chief Strikes Back in Lawsuit  

Fired Anti-Gay Atlanta Fire Chief Strikes Back in Lawsuit  

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | Kelvin J. Cochran, who was discharged as chief of the Atlanta Fire and Rescue Department (AFRD) after he self-published a book voicing negative views, based on his religious beliefs, about homosexuality and same-sex marriage, has struck back at the city and Mayor Kasim Reed with a lawsuit claiming a violation of […]

Court Bars Catholic School From Discriminating Against Married Gay Employee

Court Bars Catholic School From Discriminating Against Married Gay Employee

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | Since marriage equality became legal nationwide, one question that has arisen but not been clearly answered is whether religious institutions can freely discriminate in their employment practices against married gay couples by relying on statutory religious exemptions in anti-discrimination laws or on constitutional claims. In a case involving a food […]

Axed Assistant Attorney General Strikes Out Twice in Michigan Court

Axed Assistant Attorney General Strikes Out Twice in Michigan Court

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | Andrew Shirvell, a former Michigan assistant attorney general discharged for his harassment of an openly gay student leader at the University of Michigan, suffered a double loss in that state’s Court of Appeals on January 8. The court upheld the state’s denial of his discharge grievance, finding his conduct unprotected by […]

Adult Film Condom Ordinance Survives Appeals Court Review

Adult Film Condom Ordinance Survives Appeals Court Review

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD  | A unanimous three-judge panel of the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a constitutional challenge to a voter initiative that compels actors in adult films to use condoms during scenes of anal or vaginal intercourse while filming in Los Angeles County. The December 15 ruling affirmed a decision […]

High Court Says For-Profit Corporations Can Claim Religious Exemptions

High Court Says For-Profit Corporations Can Claim Religious Exemptions

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | In a decision with the potential to open up wide gaps in nondiscrimination protections for sexual minorities, the Supreme Court has ruled that a family-owned corporation could claim an exemption from complying with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because of the owners’ religious objections to funding certain forms of contraception. […]

How the US Second Circuit Decided the NYC Churches in Schools Case

How the US Second Circuit Decided the NYC Churches in Schools Case

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | Ruling in a long-running case that may not yet be at an end, a federal appeals panel has found that a New York City policy barring the rental of public school space for “religious worship services” does not violate the First Amendment. The April 3 decision from the Manhattan-based Second Circuit […]

Wedding Photographer Cannot Deny Service to Same-Sex Ceremony

Wedding Photographer Cannot Deny Service to Same-Sex Ceremony

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | The New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled on August 22 that a wedding photography business violated the state’s Human Rights Act by refusing service to a lesbian couple for their commitment ceremony, finding that the owners’ religious and free speech rights were not unconstitutionally violated by this result. Vanessa Willock contacted […]

Supreme Court Nixes Requirement for Anti-Prostitution Pledge

Supreme Court Nixes Requirement for Anti-Prostitution Pledge

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | The Supreme Court, on June 20, ruled that a federal statute that conditions government funding to non-profits doing overseas HIV prevention work on their articulating an explicit policy opposing prostitution violates the First Amendment. Writing for the 6-2 majority, Chief Justice John R. Roberts, Jr., quoted from the high court’s famous […]