Sexual Orientation

Eighth Circuit holds that videographers have First Amendment free speech right to refuse to provide services at same-sex weddings

In Telescope Media Group v. Lucero, 936 F.3d 740 (8th Cir. 2019), the Eighth Circuit held that Minnesota could not enforce its public accommodations law against a company that refused to provide video services for same-sex weddings. The process of producing a video, the court said, constitutes “speech” and would be posted on the company’s website....

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State constitutional and statutory right in Arizona to refuse to create custom wedding invitations for same-sex couples

In a 4-3 decision, the Arizona Supreme Court has interpreted its constitution, Ariz. Const. art. 2, §6, and its Free Exercise of Religion Act, Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 41-1493.01, to give a public accommodation the right to refuse service to same-sex couples who seek custom wedding invitations. ...

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Federal court allows public accommodation to refuse to create custom videos of same-sex weddings

In a 2 to 1 vote, the Eight Circuit has held that the First Amendment prohibits a state from enforcing its public accommodations law if it requires videographers to create custom videotapes of same-sex weddings even though they provide this service to opposite-sex weddings. Telescope Media Group v. Lucero, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 25320 (8th Cir. 2019). Because the videos will be edited and posted on the videographer's website, the majority accepted the defendant's argument that they would convey a message of support for same-sex marriage contrary to the... Read more about Federal court allows public accommodation to refuse to create custom videos of same-sex weddings

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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