Californian Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Declared Unconstitutional

London, 21 February 2012 

On 7 February 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit delivered its judgment in Perry v Brown. The case concerned California’s adoption of Proposition 8, which amended the State’s constitution to prevent the Californian state from recognising the union of same-sex couples with the designation “marriage”. The Court found that Proposition 8 violated the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution.

In reaching its decision, the Court of Appeals considered only whether the Equal Protection Clause protects minority groups from being targeted for the deprivation of an existing right without a legitimate reason and whether the People of California had such reasons.

ERT Case Summary - Hosanna Tabor

This is the ERT case summary of the Supreme Court of the United States decision in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Et Al (application no. No. 10-553). TThe Court held that the Religion Clauses do give rise to a ?ministerial exception?. The case summary sets out the reference details, facts, legal arguments and decision of the case.

Religious Groups Granted Exception to Employment Discrimination Laws

London, 17 January 2012

On 11 January 2012, the United States Supreme Court delivered its judgment in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Et Al. The case concerned the dismissal of Cheryl Perich, who had been employed as a teacher by Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission brought an employment discrimination suit against Hosanna-Tabor under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Hosanna-Tabor argued that the suit was barred by the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment to the US Constitution (the Religion Clauses).

Glenn v Brumby

This is the ERT case summary of the decision of the United States Court of Appeals Eleventh Circuit in Glenn v Brumby (No. 10-14833, 10-15015). The Court held that discriminating against someone on the basis of his or her gender non-conformity constitutes sex-based discrimination under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

End to the Effective Ban on Openly Gay Men and Women Serving in the US Armed Forces

London, 5 October 2011

The repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on gay men and lesbians serving in the United States military came into effect on 20 September 2011, allowing members of the armed forces in the USA to openly acknowledge their sexuality for the first time. The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010 was enacted in December 2010, repealing a law which has resulted in the dismissal of more than 12,500 service members in 17 years.

Missed Opportunity for U.S. Supreme Court to Rectify Discriminatory Nationality Law

London, 27 June 2011 

On 13 June 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States of America failed, in the case of Flores-Villar v United States U.S. 564 (2001), to recognise the discriminatory character of a nationality law that creates an unfair double standard which makes it more difficult for males, and particularly minors, to transmit their U.S. citizenship to their children born abroad and out of wedlock to foreign mothers. 

Proposition 8 Thrown Out by Californian Court

On 4 August 2010, the Californian District Court, in the case of Perry, Stier, Katami and Zarrillo v. Schwarzenegger, Brown, Horton, Scott, O’Connell and Logan, (2010) C09-2292 VRW, held that Proposition 8, an amendment to the California State Constitution providing that marriage is valid only between heterosexual persons, was unconstitutional.

Proposition 8 is a 2008 ballot measure which amended the California State Constitution to include the phrase "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognised in California". The District Court held that Proposition 8 violated the right to due process and the right to equal protection of the law guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.