Our lawyers are litigating a range of cases involving marriage equality and discrimination against same-sex couples.

These include:

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig: Bakery refused to make a cake for same-sex couple's wedding 

Brookover v. Gilmer County: Clerk verbally abused same-sex couple seeking marriage license

Strawser v. Strange: Clerk discriminated against same-sex couple

Memo: Government employees’ requests for religious exemptions to providing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Obergefell v. Hodges: Supreme Court rules for marriage equality


Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Craig

On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court agreed to hear this case involving a bakery that refused to provide a cake to same-sex couple for their wedding.  When the case was before the Colorado Court of Appeals, we filed a brief, in support of the couple. We argue that the First Amendment does not excuse businesses from their obligation to treat all customers equally—even when the discrimination is motivated by religion. We will file a case before the Supreme Court as well.

Our brief to the Colorado Court of Appeals (February 13, 2015)


Brookover v. Gilmer County

We represent a same-sex couple who faced abuse from a Gilmer County deputy county clerk when picking up their marriage license. In April 2017, we filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia on their behalf. We argue that the U.S. Constitution guarantees equal treatment under the law and bars this type of discrimination. Read more about the case.

Our complaint to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia (April 17, 2017)


Strawser v. Strange

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We represent several Alabama couples denied the opportunity to get married as a result of an Alabama Supreme Court order. We won an order from a federal court  that requires all Alabama probate judges to cease discriminating against same-sex couples. We then won another order following the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, this time making it clear that probate judges must stop discriminating and must issue marriage licenses immediately.

The order entering a permanent injunction barring the state from enforcing its marriage ban (June 7, 2016)

The order requiring immediate compliance by all Alabama counties (July 1, 2015)

The order requiring marriage equality in all Alabama counties (May 21, 2015)

Our motion for injunction in Alabama marriage cases (March 6, 2015)


Memo To States On Discrimination

We distributed a memo to several states explaining that state governments should reject requests by government employees for exemptions to providing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Americans United continues to offer pro bono representation to any governmental entity that is sued by a clerk because it will not allow that clerk to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Our memo to government officials (January 8, 2015)


Obergefell v. Hodges

In June 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who were married in other states.

We filed a brief to the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, arguing that marriage equality and religious liberty are complementary values. Our brief explained that even after marriage equality, clergy members will not be required to perform any marriage ceremonies they oppose, and that marriage equality will enhance the religious liberty of clergy members who wish to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples.

The Supreme Court decision requiring marriage equality in all 50 states (June 26, 2015)

Our brief to the Supreme Court (March 6, 2015)