Carrie Clark is a lawyer in Illinois. The opinions herein are that of the author only. Any information in this post is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice.
A few days ago, Kristen Stewart (not that one), a manager at the University Club reception hall in Moline, Illinois, turned away a potential customer because she didn’t approve of her sexual orientation. It was the same story we’re used to by this point: The owner or employee begins to tell the customer about the facility over the phone, finds out that the customer’s partner is of the same gender, and then flatly denies service to them. Taylor Shumaker says she… Read more
As you might expect from the headline, this case is disturbing, disgusting, and revolting. What you might not expect is that the good guy in this story is the religious leader. In 2009, an 11-year-old girl told her mother that, two years earlier, her 15-year-old male cousin had raped her (when she was nine). The facts in the case are horrific: The victim awoke in the middle of the night when defendant pulled down her pants and underwear. He then… Read more
In a decision handed down Friday, a district court in Massachusetts held that the Department of Health and Human Services was wrong to allow the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops to impose religious restrictions on disbursement of federal funds. The program provided assistance to victims of human trafficking but the HHS allowed the bishops to prohibit its subcontractors from referring victims to contraceptive or abortion services. Judge Richard G. Stearns hit the nail on the head: To insist that the… Read more
The board of Carroll County, Maryland, has created a very ironic situation. County employees have been “urged” to attend a training course centered on the Maryland Constitution. Legally, they’re doing fine to this point. The irony comes from who is presenting the course: The Institute on the Constitution. They champion what it calls the “American View” of the state’s constitution. This view, according to their site, is “There is a God, the God of the Bible. Our rights come from… Read more
An federal appeals court in Georgia recently affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of the case of Marcia Walden, a counselor employed by contract with the Centers for Disease Control, saying she did not have a valid free exercise claim against the CDC. Back in 2007, Ms. Walden’s employer, C0mputer Sciences Corporation, (CSC) held a contract with the CDC under which it provided counseling services to CDC employees. The issue arose when a CDC employee who was in a long-term same-sex relationship… Read more