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SCOTUS Sends Florist Case Back to Washington State Court

SCOTUS Sends Florist Case Back to Washington State Court

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | On June 25, the Supreme Court finally acted on a petition by an anti-gay litigation group that sought review of a unanimous Washington State Supreme Court decision affirming a lower court ruling that found a florist had unlawfully discriminated in refusing to sell wedding flowers to a same-sex couple. The high […]

Longtime Gay Death Row Inmate’s Appeal Denied

Longtime Gay Death Row Inmate’s Appeal Denied

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | The Supreme Court has denied a petition from South Dakota gay death row inmate Charles Russell Rhines, who challenges the fairness of his death sentence in light of evidence that some jurors took anti-gay stereotypes into account while determining his sentence. In line with normal practice, the Supreme Court merely listed […]

Masterpiece Cakeshop Ruling Not As Limited As Some Think

BY RACHEL B. TIVEN | The United States Supreme Court offered dangerous encouragement this month to those scheming to undermine marriage equality and otherwise deny civil rights to LGBTQ people. The court issued what many are calling a “limited ruling” in the much-anticipated case of the Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for […]

Two New Job Discrimination Petitions to SCOTUS

Two New Job Discrimination Petitions to SCOTUS

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | At the end of May, the US Supreme Court had received two new petitions asking it to address the question whether the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s Title VII ban on employment discrimination “because of sex” can be interpreted to apply to claims of sexual orientation discrimination. Altitude Express — which employed […]

Unprecedented Ruling Favors Anti-Gay Baker

Unprecedented Ruling Favors Anti-Gay Baker

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | Breaking the consensus among courts developed over the past several years that people with religious or moral objections to same-sex weddings are not entitled to exempt their business from selling goods or services for such events, a California Superior Court judge has ruled that a baker has a First Amendment […]

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 […]

SCOTUS Won’t Step into Houston Benefits Case, For Now

SCOTUS Won’t Step into Houston Benefits Case, For Now

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | On December 4, the US Supreme Court, without explanation, rejected a petition from the City of Houston seeking review of the Texas Supreme Court’s June 30 ruling in Pidgeon v. Turner, which had cast doubt on whether the city was obligated under Obergefell v. Hodges, the high court’s 2015 marriage equality […]

Texas’ Ex-Chief Justice Rebukes Court on Houston Benefits

Texas’ Ex-Chief Justice Rebukes Court on Houston Benefits

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | On June 30, the Texas Supreme Court issued a ruling claiming the US Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell marriage equality decision did not necessarily require state and local governments to treat same-sex and different-sex marriages the same for government employee benefits purposes. On September 15, asserting that his old court’s decision was […]

LGBTQ Legal Groups On the Offensive

LGBTQ Legal Groups On the Offensive

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | LGBTQ legal groups last week went on the offensive, filing important new lawsuits seeking injunctions against government discrimination. GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) sued Donald Trump and Defense Department officials on August 9, attempting to put a halt to the president’s attempt […]

Court Must Decide If Gavin Grimm’s Case Is Moot

Court Must Decide If Gavin Grimm’s Case Is Moot

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | In what could signal a disappointing end to a remarkable battle for transgender equality, the Richmond-based Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has announced that instead of holding oral argument in Gavin Grimm’s lawsuit challenging the Gloucester County, Virginia, School Board’s bathroom access policy, it is sending the case back to the […]

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