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Litigation Tracker: All Litigation

To achieve a fully comprehensive law protecting Americans from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, our movement must work on multiple tracks, creating undeniable momentum that the country requires and is ready for fully inclusive non-discrimination protections ensuring no one faces unfair treatment because of who they are or who they love.

In addition to legislative work happening in statehouses and public education work happening elsewhere, part of this work is happening in the courts – and dozens of legal cases related to LGBTQ discrimination are currently pending in courts across the country. Freedom for All Americans is tracking key litigation related to LGBTQ Americans here. Use the “Explore” filter to track cases based on the state where they’re based, what they concern, whether they’re pending or resolved, or whether they’re filed in federal or state court.


Joel Doe v. Boyertown Area School District

Case Concerning Restroom Access for Transgender Students

Key Date: September 24, 2019 • Plaintiffs Drop Case
Legal Team: ACLU
Type: Transgender Student Cases

This case is about respecting transgender students for who they are and is a part of the growing legislative and legal momentum against restricting restroom access for transgender Americans.

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Klein v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries

Case Seeking Religious Exemptions from LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Laws

Key Date: January 9, 2020 • Oral Argument before Oregon Intermedia Court of Appeals
Legal Team: Lambda Legal
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

Klein v. Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries concerns a business owner in Oregon who denied service to a same-sex couple because of their sexual orientation.

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Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

Case Seeking Religious Exemptions from LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Laws

Key Date: June 4, 2018 • U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Issued
Legal Team: American Civil Liberties Union
Type: Other Sexual Orientation Cases, Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission concerns a business owner in Colorado who denied service to a same-sex couple because of their sexual orientation. The business owner seeks a religious exemption to a longstanding non-discrimination law in Colorado prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

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Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital

Case Concerning Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Under Title VII

Key Date: December 11, 2017 • Supreme Court Denies Review in Case
Legal Team: Lambda Legal
Type: Gender Identity Employment Discrimination Cases

The case dates back to April 2015, when Jameka Evans claimed that her former employer, Georgia Regional Hospital, violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by discriminating against her because of her sexual orientation and gender non-conformity. 

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Jane Doe v. Highland Local School District

Case Concerning Restroom Access for Transgender Students

Key Date: February 22, 2018 • 6th Circuit Rejects Anti-LGBTQ Request for Stay of Lower Court Ruling
Legal Team: National Center for Lesbian Rights
Type: Transgender Student Cases

Highland Local Schools in Ohio is refusing to respect the gender identity of transgender students, including a young transgender girl, Jane Doe. Following an investigation by the United States Department of Education, the District was found to be violating Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

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Doe v. Trump

Case Challenging Trump's Directive Banning Military Service for Transgender Americans

Key Date: April 12, 2019 • Anti-Transgender Military Ban Takes Effect
Legal Team: GLAD & NCLR
Type: Other Gender Identity Cases

On August 9 Doe v. Trump was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging Trump's attempt to reinstate a ban on open service for transgender people.

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Jane Doe v. Highland Local School District

Case Concerning Restroom Access for Transgender Students

Key Date: February 22, 2018 • 6th Circuit Rejects Anti-LGBTQ Request for Stay of Lower Court Ruling
Legal Team: National Center for Lesbian Rights
Type: Transgender Student Cases

Highland Local Schools in Ohio is refusing to respect the gender identity of transgender students, including a young transgender girl, Jane Doe. Following an investigation by the United States Department of Education, the District was found to be violating Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

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Carcaño v. Cooper

Case Challenging Anti-LGBTQ Legislation in North Carolina

Key Date: June 25, 2018 • Hearing on Pending Motions
Legal Team: ACLU, ACLU of NC, Lambda Legal
Type: Other Gender Identity Cases, Other Sexual Orientation Cases

While the lawsuit initially targeted House Bill 2, plaintiffs in the case are now targeting HB142, a similarly anti-LGBTQ law passed in April 2017, under the guise of being a "repeal" of HB2.

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Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant & Barber v. Bryant

Case Challenging Anti-LGBTQ Law HB1523 in Mississippi

Key Date: January 8, 2018 • U.S. Supreme Court Denied Certiorari
Legal Team: Campaign for Southern Equality, Lambda Legal & Mississippi Center for Justice
Type: Other Gender Identity Cases, Other Sexual Orientation Cases

The law allows Mississippi officials, state employees, and private individuals who hold certain religious beliefs to deny a wide array of services to LGBT individuals. 

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Kenosha Unified School District v. Whitaker

Case Concerning Restroom Access for Transgender Students

Key Date: January 10, 2018 • Case Settled
Legal Team: Transgender Law Center
Type: Transgender Student Cases

The court’s opinion made the 7th Circuit the highest court ever to decisively find that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, extends to transgender students.

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Smith v. Avanti

Case Concerning Housing Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Key Date: April 5, 2017 • Ruling Issued in Favor of Plaintiffs
Legal Team: Lambda Legal
Type: Housing Discrimination

For the first time in federal court, Judge Moore also found that the property owner’s anti-LGBT discrimination violated the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, including stereotypes about sex.

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Stone v. Trump

Case Challenging Trump's Directive Banning Military Service for Transgender Americans

Key Date: April 12, 2019 • Anti-Transgender Military Ban Takes Effect
Legal Team: ACLU
Type: Other Gender Identity Cases

On August 28 Stone v. Trump was filed in the U.S. District Court for Maryland challenging Trump's attempt to reinstate a ban on open service for transgender people.

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Karnoski v. Trump

Case Challenging Trump's Directive Banning Military Service for Transgender Americans

Key Date: June 14, 2019 • Ruling from 9th Circuit Issued
Legal Team: Lambda Legal
Type: Other Gender Identity Cases

On August 28 Karnoski v. Trump was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington challenging Trump's attempt to reinstate a ban on open service for transgender people.

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Wetzel v. Glen St. Andrew Living Community

Case Concerning Housing Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

Key Date: August 27, 2018 • 7th Circuit Ruling in Favor of Plaintiff
Legal Team: Lambda Legal
Type: Housing Discrimination

The plaintiff is Marsha Wetzel, a woman in Niles, Illinois who experienced harassment and discrimination from residents and administrators at Glen St. Andrew Living Community.

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303 Creative v. Elenis

Case Seeking Religious Exemption from LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Laws

Key Date: March 23, 2020 • Defendant Files Brief to 10th Circuit
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

The business owner, a graphic designer, says the non-discrimination law forces her to promote marriages between same-sex couples and so she has filed a preemptive lawsuit.

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Pidgeon v. Turner

Case Concerning Spousal Benefits for Married Same-Sex Couples

Key Date: December 4, 2017 • Petition for Certiorari Denied by U.S. Supreme Court Conference
Legal Team: City of Houston
Type: Other Sexual Orientation Cases

Following the Obergefell ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, the residents claimed that the ruling merely concerned whether same-sex couples can receive marriage licenses – not whether they must receive the same benefits.

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Gavin Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board

Case Concerning Restroom Access for Transgender Students

Key Date: August 12, 2019 • Ruling Issued in Favor of Plaintiff
Legal Team: ACLU
Type: Transgender Student Cases

Gavin graduated from high school in June 2017 – but his case has not yet ended. The ACLU has continued to represent him, and on May 22 of 2018, a federal district court ruled that his Title IX claim had merit.

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Country Mill Farms v. City of East Lansing

Case Seeking Religious Exemption from LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Laws

Key Date: September 15, 2017 • Order Issued in Favor of Plaintiffs
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

The business owner would like to participate in farmer's markets within East Lansing, but in doing so would like to be exempt from abiding by the city's LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance.

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Stockman v. Trump

Case Challenging Trump's Directive Banning Military Service for Transgender Americans

Key Date: April 12, 2019 • Anti-Transgender Military Ban Takes Effect
Legal Team: Equality California, GLBTQ Advocates & Defenders, National Center for Lesbian Rights
Type: Other Gender Identity Cases

On September 4 Stockman v. Trump was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California challenging Trump's attempt to reinstate a ban on open service for transgender people.

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M.A.B. v. Board of Education of Talbot County

Case Concerning Restroom Access for Transgender Students

Key Date: June 18, 2018 • Case Settled
Legal Team: FreeState Justice, ACLU and ACLU of MD
Type: Transgender Student Cases

St. Michaels Middle-High School in Maryland is refusing to respect the gender identity of transgender students, including M.A.B., a transgender boy, with regard to sex-segregated facilities such as restrooms.

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Adams v. School Board of St. John’s County, Florida

Case Concerning Restroom Access for Transgender Students

Key Date: December 5, 2019 • 11th Circuit Oral Argument
Legal Team: Lambda Legal
Type: Transgender Student Cases

On June 28, 2017, Lambda Legal filed a sex discrimination case in the Eleventh District Court on behalf on John Adams, a 16-year old male student who was denied access to the boys' restroom because he is transgender.

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Schawe-Lane v. Amazon

Case Concerning Employment Discrimination Based on Gender Identity Under Title VII

Key Date: April 11, 2018 • Parties Stipulate to Dismissal of Claims
Legal Team: Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund
Type: Gender Identity Employment Discrimination Cases

Transgender Defense and Education Legal Fund (TLDEF) has filed a lawsuit in the 6th District Court regarding employment discrimination by Amazon against Allegra Schawe-Lane, a transgender woman, and her husband, Dane Lane.

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Parents for Privacy v. Dallas School District

Case Concerning Restroom Access for Transgender Students

Key Date: February 12, 2020 • 9th Circuit Ruling Affirming Dismissal of Case
Legal Team: ACLU, ACLU of Oregon, Basic Rights Oregon
Type:

Dallas School District in Oregon has long had a policy respecting the gender identity of transgender students – but in 2017 an anti-LGBTQ organization filed a lawsuit challenging this policy, on behalf of several non-transgender students, who claim their privacy is threatened by transgender students using the restrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity.

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Arlene’s Flowers v. Washington

Case Seeking Religious Exemptions from LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Laws

Key Date: February 21, 2020 • Petition Distributed for U.S. Supreme Court Conference
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

On June 6, 2019, the Washington Supreme Court upheld the lower court ruling that affirms the Washington Law Against Discrimination.

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Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda

Case Concerning Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Under Title VII

Key Date: October 8, 2019 • Supreme Court Oral Argument in Case
Legal Team: ACLU
Type: Sexual Orientation Employment Discrimination Cases

The United States Supreme Court heard this argument in this case and will issue a decision in the first half of 2020.

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R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC

Case Concerning Employment Discrimination Based on Gender Identity Under Title VII

Key Date: October 8, 2019 • Supreme Court Oral Argument in Case
Legal Team: EEOC & ACLU
Type: Gender Identity Employment Discrimination Cases

The United States Supreme Court heard this argument in this case and will issue a decision in the first half of 2020.

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Doe v. Volusia County School Board

Case Concerning Restroom Access for Transgender Students

Key Date: April 4, 2018 • Motion for Preliminary Injunction Denied
Legal Team: NCLR & Private Counsel
Type: Transgender Student Cases

A school in Florida is refusing to respect the gender identity of transgender students, including a young transgender male, identified as John Doe. 

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Dumont v. Lyon

Case Concerning Discrimination in Adoption and Foster Care

Key Date: March 22, 2019 • Settlement Reached
Legal Team: ACLU
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Child Welfare Issues

Dumont v. Lyon is a case challenging a Michigan law that allows state-funded adoption agencies to cite religion as a reason for turning away foster parents or adoptive parents based on their sexual orientation. 

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Starkville Pride v. City of Starkville

Case Concerning Discrimination Against LGBTQ People

Key Date: March 6, 2018 • City of Starkville reverses anti-LGBTQ decision
Legal Team: Private Counsel and Campaign for Southern Equality
Type: Other Gender Identity Cases, Other Sexual Orientation Cases

Plaintiffs Mississippi State University students Bailey McDaniel and Emily Turner filed the federal lawsuit and asked a judge to overrule the city's decision to block the planned parade and immediately grant a parade permit to Starkville Pride.

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Gerald Lynn Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia

Case Concerning Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Under Title VII

Key Date: October 8, 2019 • Supreme Court Oral Argument in Case
Legal Team: Private Counsel
Type: Sexual Orientation Employment Discrimination Cases

The United States Supreme Court heard this argument in this case and will issue a decision in the first half of 2020.

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Brush & Nib Studio v. City of Phoenix

Case Seeking Religious Exemption from LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Laws

Key Date: September 16, 2019 • Order Issued Narrowly Against Defendants by AZ Supreme Court
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

On June 7, Alliance Defending Freedom indicated it would appeal to the AZ Supreme Court following the Arizona Court of Appeals' ruling, which upheld the city of Phoenix's nondiscrimination ordinance that protects LGBTQ from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodations.

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Department of Fair Employment and Housing v. Cathy’s Creations, dba Tastries Inc.

Case Concerning Public Accommodations Discrimination

Key Date: June 19, 2018 • Awaiting Appeal
Legal Team: Freedom of Conscience Fund
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

On June 19, 2018, the state department in the case dropped their appeal of a ruling from a County Superior Court Judge in favor of the defendant. However, the couple intends to appeal the decision on their own.

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Telescope Media Group v. Lindsey

Case Seeking Religious Exemption from LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Laws

Key Date: November 4, 2019 • Ruling Issued Against Defendants by 8th Circuit
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

This case concerns a business that opposed marriage for same-sex couples seeking to preempt Minnesota's Human Rights Act (MHRA) which prevents discrimination in business.

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Sharonell Fulton et al. v. City of Philadelphia

Case Concerning Discrimination in Adoption and Foster Care

Key Date: February 24, 2020 • Supreme Court Grants Review in Case
Legal Team: Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Child Welfare Issues

In Fall 2020 the U.S. Supreme Court will hear this case about whether child welfare agencies with government contracts may refuse to provide services to same-sex couples.

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Hands On Originals v. Baker

Case Seeking Religious Exemption From Local Nondiscrimination Ordinance

Key Date: October 31, 2019 • Kentucky Supreme Court Ruling
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

In May 2017, the Kentucky Appeals Court overturned a lower ruling that determined Hands On Originals had discriminated against an LGBTQ organization when it refused to print t-shirts for a Pride organization.

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Marouf v. Azar

Case Concerning Discrimination in Foster Care

Key Date: June 12, 2019 • District Court Denied Motion to Dismiss Case
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Child Welfare Issues

This case concerns a lesbian couple that was denied the chance to become foster parents for a child after an agency learned of their sexual orientation and stated that their family "did not mirror the Holy Family."

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Walsh & Nance v. Friendship Village of South County

Case Concerning Housing Discrimination

Key Date: May 29, 2019 • Case Put On Hold Pending SCOTUS Resolution in Title VII Cases
Legal Team: NCLR, ACLU of Missouri
Type: Housing Discrimination

Married couple Mary Walsh and Bev Nance sought housing at the Friendship Village of South County , a senior housing community in St. Louis, Missouri. Friendship Village told Walsh and Nance that it would not accept them as residents because it followed the “Biblical definition” of marriage and “defined marriage as between a man and a woman.” Friendship Village is not affiliated with or operated by any religion or religious order, is open to the public, and does not inquire about the religious beliefs or affiliations of residents.

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Aloha Bed & Breakfast v. Cervelli

Case Seeking Religious Exemptions from LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Laws

Key Date: March 18, 2019 • Supreme Court Denies Review in Case
Legal Team: Lambda Legal
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

Aloha Bed & Breakfast v. Cervelli concerns a business owner in Hawaii who denied service to a same-sex couple because of their sexual orientation.

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Harold Lampley and Rene Frost v. Missouri Commission on Human Rights

Case Concerning Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Under State Law

Key Date: February 26, 2019 • Ruling from MO Supreme Court
Legal Team: Private Counsel
Type: Sexual Orientation Employment Discrimination Cases

This case concerns two employees of the Missouri Department of Social Services claiming employment discrimination under Missouri's current human rights laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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R.M.A v. Blue Springs R-IV School District

Case Concerning Restroom Access for Transgender Students

Key Date: February 26, 2019 • Ruling from MO Supreme Court
Legal Team: Private Counsel
Type: Transgender Student Cases

A school in Missouri is refusing to respect the gender identity of transgender students.

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Wittmer v. Phillips 66

Case Concerning Employment Discrimination Based on Gender Identity Under Title VII

Key Date: February 6, 2019 • Ruling Issued Against Plaintiff by 5th Circuit
Legal Team: Private Counsel
Type: Gender Identity Employment Discrimination Cases

The case centers on Nicole Wittmer, who was offered employment with Phillips 66 after a job interview, but her job offer of employment was rescinded after her transgender status was disclosed.

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New Hope Family Services v. Sheila J. Poole

Case Concerning Discrimination in Adoption and Foster Care

Key Date: February 19, 2020 • Hearing Before District Judge
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Child Welfare Issues

The lawsuit centers on the state of New York's position that adoption and foster care agencies licensed by the state may not discriminate against prospective parents.

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Kadel v. Folwell

Case Concerning Discrimination in Health Care

Key Date: March 11, 2019 • Initial Complaint Filed
Legal Team: Lambda Legal & TLDEF
Type: Other Gender Identity Cases

Kadel v. Folwell is a case filed by Lambda Legal and TLDEF on behalf of North Carolina public employees, some who are transgender and others who are the family members of transgender people.

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Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools

Case Concerning School Athletics for Transgender Students

Key Date: February 12, 2020 • Initial Complaint Filed
Type: Transgender Student Cases

Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools is a case concerning discrimination based on gender identity or expression in schools. The lawsuit challenges the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and multiple school boards who have transgender-inclusive policies.

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Rouch World v. Michigan Dept. of Civil Rights

Case Challenging State's Interpretation of Nondiscrimination Law

Key Date: February 13, 2020 • Initial Complaint Filed
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

The case was filed against the Michigan Department of Civil Rights by a private park and wedding venue in Michigan who denied service to a same-sex couple because of their sexual orientation. The venue argues that the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act doesn’t protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Chelsea Nelson Photography, LLC v. Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government

Case Seeking Religious Exemptions from LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Laws

Key Date: February 27, 2020 • Statement of Interest Filed by Department of Justice
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

The lawsuit seeks to preempt a local ordinance in Louisville, Kentucky that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in places of public accommodation.

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Fletcher v. State of Alaska

Case Concerning Employment Discrimination Based on Gender Identity Under Title VII

Key Date: February 19, 2020 • Oral Argument before Alaska District Court
Legal Team: Lambda Legal
Type: Gender Identity Employment Discrimination Cases

Fletcher v. State of Alaska is a case brought by Lambda Legal on behalf of a transgender state employee suing the state of Alaska under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because she was denied transition-related surgical treatment by her employee health care plan.

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