The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a new dispute involving gay and religious rights, leaving in place a lower court ruling against a Hawaii bed and breakfast owner who turned away a lesbian couple, citing Christian beliefs.
The justices refused to hear an appeal by Phyllis Young, who runs the three-room Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Honolulu, of the ruling that she violated a state anti-discrimination law by refusing to rent a room to Diane Cervilli and Taeko Bufford in 2007.
A state court ruled that Young ran afoul of Hawaii’s public accommodation law, which among other things bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Litigation will now continue to determine what penalty Young might face.
Young said her decision to turn away the same-sex couple was protected by her right to free exercise of religion under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
The case was appealed to the nine justices in the wake of the high court’s narrow 2018 decision siding with a baker from Colorado who refused based on his Christian beliefs to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. That decision did not resolve the question of whether business owners can claim religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws.
The justices merely decided that a Colorado state commission did not handle the case against the baker appropriately and sent the dispute back for further proceedings. In October, the commission threw out its case against the baker.
The Supreme Court in that case also did not address important claims including whether baking a cake is a kind of expressive act protected by the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee, a question not raised in the Hawaii case.
The conservative-majority court has a separate appeal pending involving a different bakery, in Oregon, that refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.
In the Hawaii case, Cervilli and Bufford sued in 2011 and were joined in the litigation by the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, a state agency. They are no longer a couple.
Young is Catholic and “the only romantic partners allowed to share a bedroom are a married man and woman,” her lawyers said in court papers. Young argued among other things that she could not be sanctioned because private homes that rent fewer than four rooms are exempt from Hawaii’s housing laws. Young appealed to the Supreme Court after the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals ruled against her in 2018.
Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham
Right-wing radio show ratings tank as host undermines Trump’s ‘promises made, promises kept’ re-election slogan
The fact Donald Trump's base sticks with him no matter what he does is negatively impacting a conservative radio host attempting to hold the president accountable for his campaign promises.
Michael Alan Weiner, who goes by the stage name Michael Savage, hosts the "Savage Nation" radio show.
The host once praised Trump as the "Winston Churchill of our time" has been criticizing the president recently, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
"Now Mr. Savage is an outlier once again, dismayed more each day as the budget deficit continues to swell, thousands of new migrants are apprehended at the border, and the wall Mr. Trump promised to erect and make Mexico pay for remains unbuilt," The Times explained.
LISTEN: Here’s the creepy broadcast at Trump’s rally telling supporters the right way to deal with protesters
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump officially kicked off his 2020 re-election campaign in Orlando, Florida.
Those who entered the venue were treated to a pleasant female voice booming out instructions to protestors — and a creepy warning.
"While we all have the rights to free speech, this is a private event paid for and hosted by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., and you came to hear the president," said the voice. "To accommodate the right to free speech and peaceful assembly, while ensuring an orderly rally, we have provided a secure area outside the venue for all protesters, and we ask anyone wishing to demonstrate to please exit to that secure area."
Trump had two goals in ramping up pressure on Iran — and he’s failing at both: CNN
That being said, the president clearly believes he can bully Iran into unconditional submission to whatever the United States demands. And Iran is having none of it, escalating its own acts of maritime aggression and proclaiming they have missile technology capable of striking U.S. aircraft carriers.