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Litigation Tracker: Filtered Results

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.


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Topic: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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