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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.

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.

Kountze Independent School District v. Matthews

In fall 2012, Kountze Independent School District in Texas received an anonymous complaint regarding religious banners at one of its high school’s football games. Cheerleaders had written religious messages on “run-through” banners, including messages referencing “victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” and being able to “do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” The school district asked the cheerleaders to stop displaying religious messages due to Establishment Clause concerns. 

Does v. School District of Elmbrook

For nearly a decade, the Elmbrook School District near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, held its high-school graduation ceremonies in the sanctuary of an evangelical Christian church. A cross towered over the dais -- upon which graduation speakers addressed the audience and graduating seniors received their diplomas.

Barnes-Wallace v. City of San Diego and Boy Scouts of America

The City of San Diego leases large parcels of prime parkland to the Boy Scouts of America at nominal rates. The Boy Scouts discriminate in membership and employment against atheists and agnostics by requiring scouts and leaders to profess a belief in God. A federal trial court held that the leases were unconstitutional because the Boy Scouts are a religious organization and San Diego’s leasing process was not neutral. The Boy Scouts appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Stewart v. Johnson County

After the Johnson County Commission removed a government-sponsored Ten Commandments display from the County Courthouse, the Commission created a public forum in the Courthouse lobby for displays relating to the development of American law. The Commission then accepted a display featuring the Ten Commandments, quotations from historical legal sources, and Biblical verses—bearing the message that the United States was founded on Christian principles. 

Sossamon v. Texas, et al.

Challenge to the denial of a fair opportunity to engage in religious services to an inmate by Texas prison officials in violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.