Tuesday’s marriage arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court hinted at coming battles over the right of religious business owners or organizations to discriminate against gays and lesbians in contexts outside of marriage itself. Indeed, several briefs to the high court—and a few justices at oral argument—suggested that if same-sex people have a constitutional right to get married, it will be more difficult for individuals and businesses to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against same-sex people in other settings. Read more
Seats inside the U.S. Supreme Court were at a premium today for the oral argument in Obergefell v. Hodges, the marriage equality case.
I was fortunate to get a spot in the press gallery. I was in the back row, and my view was obstructed by two large columns, but I’m not complaining; I would have been willing to hang from the rafters for this historic argument, a marathon session that featured five attorneys and lasted two and a half hours. Read more
At today’s U.S. Supreme Court marriage-equality arguments, the focus will be on whether the states’ marriage bans impermissibly discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. But the marriage cases also involve old-fashioned discrimination on the basis of sex. In states without marriage equality, men can marry only women, and women can marry only men. These arguments have not received as much discussion in the cases so far, but they will be before the high court all the same. Read more
A prominent Religious Right figure recently used church-state separation as an excuse to prohibit same-sex marriage, which can mean only one thing: Fundamentalists have run out of ideas to halt marriage equality. Read more
This year’s saga of state Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) bills is nearing the end, but has not come to a complete stop, yet. We continue to monitor RFRA bills in North Carolina and Michigan. Meanwhile, many other bills are moving through state legislatures and have been introduced in Congress that would allow religious beliefs to justify discrimination in adoption placements by state-funded, private adoption agencies. Read more
“Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” has become a cliché, but opposition to marriage equality remains rooted in certain religious beliefs. The same-sex marriage bans of four states will be considered next week by the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges. Proponents of these marriage bans framed their arguments in religious terms; legislators even quoted scripture and proclaimed that the ban was necessary “for the stability of society and for the greater glory of God.” Read more