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 sell a cake to a same-sex couple for their wedding 

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

Strawser v. Strange: Clerk refused to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple

Memo: Government employees don't have a religious freedom right to refuse to perform their job function to provide 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 sell a cake to a same-sex couple for their wedding. The First Amendment does not excuse businesses from their obligation to treat all customers equally—even when the discrimination is motivated by religion. When the case was before the Colorado Court of Appeals, we filed a brief in support of the couple and we will file another brief with the Supreme Court.

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 deputy county clerk when picking up their marriage license. The U.S. Constitution guarantees equal treatment under the law and bars this type of discrimination. In April 2017, we filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia on their behalf and in September 2017, settled the case favorably for Samantha and Amanda. 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 represented several Alabama couples denied the opportunity to get married in Alabama. After a federal court twice ordered the state's probate judges to stop discriminating against same-sex couples, our clients were able to get married. 

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 sent 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 use religion as an excuse 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 freedom 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 freedom 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)