Geoffrey Stone on the LGBTQ cases facing the Supreme Court

Supreme Court Has Pick of LGBT Discrimination Controversies

Melissa and Aaron Klein say they were unconstitutionally driven out of business and charged a $135,000 fine under Oregon law for refusing to make a custom cake celebrating a same-sex couple’s wedding, in violation of their religious beliefs.

Phyllis Young refused service to a same-sex couple at her business, Aloha Bed & Breakfast, resulting in a “coordinated campaign” by Hawaii to punish her for her religious convictions, she says.

The Kleins and Young are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up their cases rooted in state law prohibitions. The cases raise First Amendment questions left unanswered since the justices ruled last term in favor of a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex Colorado couple’s wedding in Masterpiece Cakeshop. 


A scholar and former Supreme Court clerk expects Roberts to join fellow conservatives on these issues eventually, though he may wish to avoid deciding on them for now.

“In the end, I do think the five conservatives will hold that the application of anti-discrimination laws in these circumstances violate either the free speech or freedom of religion rights of the individuals who refuse to deal with same-sex couples,” said Geoffrey R. Stone, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School who writes about constitutional law.

Read more at Bloomberg Law

LGBTQ rights The judiciary