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Hassan v. City of New York

In the months following the September 11 attacks, the New York City Police Department began a surveillance program targeting Muslim communities in New York City and the surrounding areas. The surveillance extended to Muslims in New Jersey, and included surveillance of mosques, private schools, Muslim-owned business establishments, and at least one Muslim student group.

Tanco v. Haslam

In 2006, Tennessee amended its state constitution to limit the legal definition of marriage to that between a man and a woman, and also prohibited the recognition of marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in other states. Proponents of the amendment grounded their support in biblical terms. Representative Bill Dunn, one of the amendment’s most prominent supporters, went so far as to write a newspaper article justifying the amendment using quotations from Scripture. 
 
In October 2013, three same-sex couples sued to invalidate Tennessee’s marriage ban.

Henry v. Himes

Ohio amended its state constitution in 2004 to restrict the legal definition of marriage to that between a man and a woman, and further prohibited the recognition of a legal relationship that “approximate[s] the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage.” Support for the amendment came mostly from religious organizations, and their arguments were couched in explicitly religious terms. In February 2014, several same-sex couples and an adoption agency challenged Ohio’s marriage ban.

DeBoer v. Snyder

Michigan law does not allow same-sex couples to adopt children. A same-sex couple with adopted children initially challenged this law in January 2012, and later expanded their lawsuit to challenge the Michigan Marriage Amendment. Adopted in November 2004 by popular referendum, the amendment limits the state’s recognition of marriage to that between “one man and one woman.” Support for the amendment came largely from religious leaders, and proponents couched their arguments in religious terms.

Bourke v. Beshear

In 1998, the Kentucky legislature passed a law limiting the legal definition of marriage to that between a man and a woman, and prohibited the recognition of marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in other states. Eight years later, the state amended its constitution to codify these prohibitions.

Bostic v. Schaefer

In 2006, Virginia amended its state constitution to limit the legal definition of marriage to that between a man and a woman, and also prohibited the creation or recognition of civil unions short of marriage. Support for the amendment came primarily from religious groups, and its supporters couched their arguments in religious terms. In July 2013, two same-sex couples challenged Virginia’s marriage ban. The federal trial court ruled in their favor, and the state appealed to the U.S.

Bishop v. Smith

In November 2004, Oklahoma amended its state constitution to limit the state’s recognition of marriage to heterosexual marriage and making it a crime to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple. The amendment was supported with religious arguments and appeals to scripture. In response, two lesbian couples sued to invalidate the amendment.

After nearly a decade of litigation, the federal trial court held that Oklahoma’s marriage ban is unconstitutional. The state appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Read more

Freshwater v. Mount Vernon City School District Board of Education

In 2008, the Mount Vernon City School District began an investigation into eighth-grade science teacher John Freshwater, after the parents of one of Freshwater’s students complained that Freshwater had used a Tesla coil to brand a cross on the student’s arm.  Over the course of the investigation, the school district found evidence that Freshwater kept a Bible on his desk and a copy of the Ten Commandments on the classroom bulletin board, proselytized to students, and taught creationism and intelligent design in place of the standard science curriculum.

Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Pauley

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources Solid Waste Management Program awards competitive grants to qualifying organizations to purchase recycled tire rubber, which is used to resurface playgrounds. In order to comply with the No-Aid Clause of the Missouri Constitution, the program does not award grants to organizations owned or operated by “a church, sect, or denomination of religions.”
 
Trinity Lutheran Child Center—a religious pre-school operated by Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia—applied to participate in the grant program in early 2012.

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