Sexual Orientation

Washington Supreme Court reaffirms its finding of sexual orientation discrimination by florist

On remand in light of the Supreme Court ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colo. Civil Rights Comm'n,  the Washington Supreme Court unanimously reaffirmed its ruling in State v. Arelene's Flowers, 389 P.3d 543 (Wash 2017), as modified by 2017 Wash. LEXIS 222 (Wash. 2017). Lambda Legal, ...

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Wedding planning website cannot refuse to serve same-sex couples

A Web-based graphic design company that intends to design custom websites for customers planning weddings sought to place a statement explaining the owner's intent not to serve same-sex couples. A federal court has held that this violates the state's public accommodations law because it constitutes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. ...

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Seventh Circuit holds that the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation

Extending a former precedent concerning employment discrimination, Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, 853 F.3d 339 (7th Cir. 2017), a three judge panel of the Seventh Circuit has held that discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by the Fair Housing Act. Wetzel v. Glen St. Andrew... Read more about Seventh Circuit holds that the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation

No sex discrimination or violation of privacy rights when trans students use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity

The Third Circuit entertained and rejected a claim by cisgender students (whose gender identity corresponds to the gender assigned at birth) that their constitutional rights to privacy and their statutory rights to be free from sex discrimination were violated when trans students were allowed to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity....

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Another federal court rules that transgender discrimination is a form of sex discrimination

Gavin Grimm is a man who was denied the right to use the men’s restrooms in a public school in Virginia because the school classified him as a woman based on his birth designation. U.S. District Court Judge Judge Arenda l. Wright Allen held that this constituted discrimination on the basis of sex in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §1681-1688, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in any educational institution...

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Courts expand “sex” discrimination laws to include prohibitions on sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination

Two recent Circuit Court cases create a conflict among the Circuits on the question of whether sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination is a form of “sex discrimination.” While the 11th Circuit and most other Circuits holds that it is not (see Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, 850 F>3d 1248 (11th Cir. 2017)), the Second and Sixth Circuits have issued rulings to the contrary. ...

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Oregon Appeals Court affirms application of state public accommodations law to cake shop that refused to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple

In Klein v. Or. Bureau of Labor & Indus., 2017 Ore.App. LEXIS 1598 (2017), the Court of Appeals of Oregon affirmed an administrative finding that Sweetcakes by Melissa violated the state public accommodations law when it refused to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple. The case is similar to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case currently being considered by the US Supreme Court because the cake shop based its claim on the...

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Supreme Court will decide whether a bakery must sell wedding cake to a same-sex couple as required by Colorado public accommodations law

On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court took certiorari in this case under the name, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colo. Civil Rights Comm'n. (No. 16-111).

The Colorado Court of Appeals has affirmed the Civil Rights Division's that a bakery must sell wedding cakes to same-sex couples if they would ordinarily do so to male-female couples. ...

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First Amendment protects right to federal registration of offensive trademarks that disparage a person or group

The Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibits enforcement of a provision of the Lanham Act that purports to deny the benefits of trademark registration to names or marks that "disparage" a person or "bring [them] into contempt or disrepute." Matal v. Tam,2017 WL 2621315 (U.S. 2017); 15 U.S.C. §1502(a) (Lanham Act). The Court held that "this provision violates the Free Speech Clause of the First...

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