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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

Hammons v University of Maryland Medical System Corp

A Case Concerning Healthcare Discrimination

Key Date: July 28, 2021 • Motion to Dismiss Refused by 3rd Circuit
Legal Team: ACLU
Type: Other Gender Identity Cases, Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

This case concerns healthcare discrimination against a transgender man.

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Scardina v Masterpiece Cakeshop

A Case Concerning Public Accommodations Discrimination

Key Date: August 3, 2021 • Defendant's Notice of Appeal Filed
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

This case concerns Colorado's nondiscrimination law, specifically provisions regarding public accommodations discrimination.

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The Downtown Soup Kitchen v Municipality of Anchorage

A Case Concerning Public Accommodations Discrimination

Key Date: June 30, 2021 • Case Filed in the 9th Circuit
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

This case concerns whether a religiously affiliated shelter is exempt from the city of Anchorage's non-discrimination ordinance, specifically the sections regarding public accommodations.

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School of the Ozarks v Biden

A Case Concerning Housing Discrimination

Key Date: June 4, 2021 • Appeal Filed by Plaintiff
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Housing Discrimination, Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

This case concerns the Fair Housing Act and its protection of transgender individuals.

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Bear Creek Bible Church v EEOC

A Case Concerning Religious Exemptions

Key Date: October 31, 2021 • Ruling Issued in Favor of Plaintiff
Legal Team: US Dept of Justice
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

This case concerns whether a group of Christian-owned businesses are exempt from liability under Title VII for refusing to hire LGBTQ people.

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Franciscan Alliance v Becerra

A Case Concerning Religious Exemptions

Key Date: August 9, 2021 • National Permanent Injunction Issued
Legal Team: ACLU (intervenors)
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

This case concerns the application of sex discrimination protections under Section 1557 of the Affordable Health Care Act.

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Updegrove v Herring

A Case Concerning Religious Exemptions

Key Date: March 30, 2021 • Case Dismissed
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

This case was filed challenging the constitutionality of the Virginia Values Act on behalf of a wedding photographer who objects to photographing same-sex couples’ weddings.

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Carpenter v James

A Case Concerning Religious Exemptions

Key Date: April 6, 2021 • Suit Filed by ADF
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

This case was brought on behalf of a photographer who seeks to be able to refuse to photograph weddings of same-sex couples even though no one has sought to enforce New York’s nondiscrimination law against her.

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Dignity Health v. Minton

Case Concerning Healthcare for Transgender Individuals

Key Date: November 1, 2021 • US Supreme Court Denies Writ of Certoriari
Legal Team: ACLU
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

Dignity Health v. Minton is a case filed on behalf of a transgender man denied a hysterectomy at a Catholic hospital.

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Klein v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries

Case Seeking Religious Exemptions from LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Laws

Key Date: January 9, 2020 • Oral Argument before Oregon 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: July 26, 2021 • 10th Circuit Affirms District Court's Ruling
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

The owner of 303 Creative, a graphic designer, says the state's nondiscrimination law forces her to promote marriages between same-sex couples.

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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: July 2, 2021 • US Supreme Court Denies Writ of Certoriari
Legal Team: Alliance Defending Freedom
Type: Religious Exemption Cases: Public Accommodations

A Washington woman claims a constitutional right to refuse to sell flowers to a same-sex couple for their wedding.

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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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