US Supreme Court to Deal with Religious Schools Dispute Next Term | Civil rights news

Judges refuse to accept case of florist in Washington state sanctioned for refusing to provide flowers for same-sex marriage.

The United States Supreme Court on Friday challenged two families with children attending Christian schools against a Maine tuition assistance program that prohibits taxpayer money from being used to pay taxes. religious educational establishments.

The nine-member Supreme Court, which has a Conservative 6-3 majority, has refused to accept the case of a Colorado florist who refused to provide services for a same-sex marriage, leaving in place a lower court ruling that the florist broke anti-discrimination laws.

The announcement of accepted and rejected cases on Friday marks the end of the Supreme Court’s current tenure, which resulted in a major 6-3 ruling on ideological lines on Thursday that could make it easier for states to adopt voting restrictions. The tribunal’s next term will begin in October.

The judges agreed to hear the appeal of families of children attending Christian schools against a lower court ruling that the Maine program did not violate the First Amendment right of the United States Constitution to the free exercise of the law. religion.

A ruling against the state of Maine could build on other court rulings in recent years allowing public funds to go to religious institutions.

The Boston-based First US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the families last year, ruling that Supreme Court precedents did not bar states from banning public funds from based religious entities. how those dollars would be used.

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed several appeals, including one filed by a florist fined by Washington state for refusing to make a flower arrangement for a same-sex marriage because of her Christian beliefs.

At least four of the nine Supreme Court justices are needed for a case to be heard by the court. Only three Conservatives, Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch said they would have agreed to hear the florist’s appeal and review the decision.

Curt Freed, left, and her husband Robert Ingersoll, pictured here in 2016, have canceled their plans for a dream wedding after being turned down by a florist over fears other businesses will discriminate against them as well. [Elaine Thompson/AP Photo]

In 2018, the Supreme Court ordered Washington state courts to reconsider the case involving florist Barronelle Stutzman and her business Arlene’s Flowers.

Upon review, the Washington State Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the state courts did not act with animosity towards religion when they ruled that Stutzman violated anti-discrimination laws of state by refusing on religious grounds to provide flowers for the marriage of two gay men, Rob Ingersoll and Curt released.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which had represented Ingersoll and Freed, hailed the decision as a victory for LGBTQ rights.

“Today, the Supreme Court confirmed that LGBTQ people should receive equal service when they walk into a store,” said Ria Tabacco Mar, ACLU lawyer representing the couple and director of the ACLU Rights Project. women.

Ingersoll had been a client of Stutzman’s florist for almost ten years and she knew he was gay. But she maintained that her marriage to another man went against her religious beliefs and felt that she could not provide services for the event.

Washington state law requires companies providing services to opposite-sex couples to provide equal service to same-sex couples.

“We hope this decision sends a message to other LGBTQ people that no one should have to suffer the harm we have done,” Ingersoll said in a statement.

In another case in 2018, the United States Supreme Court overturned on narrow legal grounds a decision by a Colorado state agency against a baker who refused to bake a gay marriage cake.

The court did not rule on the discriminatory nature of the baker’s action, but found that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had shown “religious hostility” to the baker’s Christian beliefs.

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