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In 2006, Idaho amended its state constitution to specify that “[a] marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.” In hearings before the state legislature, proponents of the ban urged its placement on the ballot because “marriage is God given” and “[n]ormalcy is a man and a woman; God made us that way.” The campaign urging the ban’s adoption was similarly religious in nature.
In 2013, four same-sex couples challenged Idaho’s marriage ban in federal court.
Texas amended its state constitution in 2005 to limit the definition of marriage to “one man and one woman,” forbidding the recognition of any other “legal status identical or similar to marriage.” Governor Rick Perry approved the amendment for inclusion on the ballot at a ceremony hosted by Calvary Christian Academy, to which he had invited “pro-family Christian friends.” Support for the amendment came primarily from religious organizations, and campaign materials justified it by reference to “God’s Design.”
In 2013, two same-sex couples filed a federal lawsuit chal
In 1999, Puerto Rico enacted a statute defining marriage as limited to a man and woman, and forbidding recognition of same-sex marriages performed elsewhere. The law was enacted after its sponsors received a petition from religious groups and a prominent evangelist. Much of the support for the law came couched in religious rhetoric. Some supporters of the bill went so far as to quote the Bible for the proposition that gay people are “worthy of death.”
In 2014, several same-sex couples challenged Puerto Rico’s marriage ban.
Oklahoma’s Lindsey Nichole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Act provides vouchers to special-needs students for use at private schools. Virtually all of the participating private schools are religious, and these schools can and do discriminate on the basis of religion in admissions.
In Texas, nonprofit organizations may apply to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to have custom license plate designs made available to the public. The law, however, permits the DMV to “refuse to create a new specialty plate if the design might be offensive to any member of the public.”
In August 2009, the Texas Sons of Confederate Veterans submitted a custom license plate design to the DMV. The design featured the organization’s logo—a Confederate flag, framed by the organization’s name.
Abercrombie & Fitch clothing stores require employees to adhere to a “look policy,” calculated to showcase the store’s aesthetic sensibility. Among other things, the policy requires that employees abstain from wearing “caps” while working.
In 2008, a Muslim woman applied for a job at an Abercrombie & Fitch’s store in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her faith requires her to wear a hijab—a traditional Muslim headscarf.
Alabama banned same-sex couples from getting married. Several same-sex couples challenged Alabama’s marriage bans in federal court; in January 2015, the federal trial court ruled that Alabama's marriage ban is unconstitutional and forbade the state's attorney general from enforcing the ban.
Under normal circumstances, this would have sufficed to bring marriage equality to the state.
In 2012, a same-sex couple asked Masterpiece Cakeshop to bake a cake for their wedding. The bakery's owner refused, citing his religious belief that homosexuality is a sin. The couple then filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission under the state’s public accommodations law, which forbids discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
An administrative law judge held that the shop owner had indeed violated the law, and the shop owner appealed that ruling to the Colorado Court of Appeals.
In 2006, the Florida Supreme Court struck down a Florida school-voucher program because it violated the state constitution. While that case was still working its way through the courts, the state legislature enacted a second program designed to accomplish the same ends through tax credits.
As part of the Affordable Care Act's implementing regulations, group health plans are required to include coverage for various forms of preventative care, including all FDA-approved methods of contraception. Houses of worship are exempt from these requirements, and the Department of Health and Human Services later created a broader accommodation for certain nonprofit organizations.