Brush & Nib is a calligraphy company that creates customized art. Its owners are Christians who operate their business in keeping with their faith. For example, they will not promote messages that demean others, promote racism, or objectify the female body. The company has never refused a customer because of who they are; such a refusal would itself be contrary to the owners’ beliefs. They serve all people, but decline to promote all messages. [Read more…] about Brush & Nib Studio v. City of Phoenix (Arizona Court of Appeals – Division One)
JCRL’s predecessor, Jews for Religious Liberty, served as co-counsel with Becket in suing the Federal Emergency Management Agency on behalf of . For years, houses of worship were singled out as ineligible for the receipt of governmental disaster relief simply because of their religious status. Thanks to the pressure applied by this lawsuit, JCRL and Becket were able to secure an administrative change in this discriminatory policy, making national resources available to all institutions in need of disaster relief. Then, on February 9, 2018, Congress codified this change into a law that President Donald Trump signed into law.
This victory rendered our lawsuit moot, providing the relief we were seeking for Chabad of Key West and Chabad of Space Coast. The lawsuit therefore dropped on February 13, 2018.
Hands on Originals is a screen printer in Lexington, Kentucky, that expresses messages on clothing, clothing accessories, and other products. Hands on Originals’ owners are Christians who operate their business consistent with what the Bible teaches. As a result, they regularly decline to print messages that conflict with those teachings, such as messages containing violence, or a message promoting a strip club. The company has never refused a customer simply because of who they are; such a refusal would itself be contrary to the owners’ beliefs. They feel religiously obligated to serve all people, but to decline to promote all messages. [Read more…] about Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission vs. Hands On Originals
JCRL was proud to support the First Amendment right to free speech when it submitted this brief in support of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates. The State of California was attempting to require that this pro-life pregnancy support organization advertise free abortions on behalf of the state. No one in America should be forced to engage in speech that directly contradicts their beliefs and mission.
The full brief is available for download.
In this case, several residents of the City of Pensacola challenged, on Establishment Clause grounds, the maintenance of a “cross in a remote corner of a public city park.” The plaintiffs argued that because a Latin cross is an unmistakable symbol of Christianity, they, as non-Christians, were offended by its presence on public land. [Read more…] about Kondrat’yev, et al v. City of Pensacola
Joseph Kennedy, a high school football coach was fired from his job at a public school for praying after football games. The Ninth Circuit found that Kennedy’s conduct was not protected by the First Amendment. It determined that whenever any school employee acts in a manner that could be constructed as modeling moral behavior for students, he is speaking on behalf of the school and therefore has no First Amendment rights. [Read more…] about Kennedy v. Bremerton School District
Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc in Texas and Louisiana in the summer of 2017, leaving behind over $125 billion in damage. Three Houston churches clearly damaged in the storm applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster relief but were denied assistance because FEMA regulations prohibited the disbursement of aid to any institution which utilized over 50% of its space for religious activities. The affected churches sued for a preliminary injunction that would exempt them from FEMA’s policy, which discriminated against religious institutions solely due to their religion. [Read more…] about Harvest Family Church v. Federal Emergency Management Agency
In this case, a religious Christian cake artist was sued for declining to custom-design a cake celebrating a same-sex marriage ceremony.
Colorado native and cake artist, Jack Phillips, has been designing custom cakes since he opened Masterpiece Cakeshop in 1993. In July 2012, two men came to Jack’s Lakewood store in search for a wedding cake for their upcoming same sex ceremony. Jack declined the request, explaining that he could not create a customized design for a same-sex ceremony. Jack offered to sell them any pre-made cake, but, due to his faith, he could not create a cake promoting same-sex ceremonies. [Read more…] about Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission
Barronnelle Stutzman has worked as a florist for nearly four decades. For nearly 10 years, she served her customer and friend, Respondent Robert Ingersoll, with that same artistic intensity. Barronelle knew Robert was in a relationship with a man, and Robert suspected Barronelle was a Christian. But that made no difference in how they treated each other. However, Barronelle declined to create a custom floral arrangements for Robert’s upcoming wedding to another man. She took Robert’s hands, told him she loved him, and explained that her relationship with Jesus Christ did not allow her to celebrate his wedding. Robert subsequently sued Barronelle for discriminating against him on the basis of his sexual orientation. The Washington Attorney General joined the suit. [Read more…] about Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington/Ingersoll
The City of Bloomfield, New Mexico allowed private citizens to pay for, and erect monuments on the City Hall lawn. Several monuments were placed on the lawn, including a display of the Ten Commandments. Two residents filed suit, charging that the display violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The lower court held that the display was unconstitutional. [Read more…] about City of Bloomfield v. Felix