From Piggie Park v. Newman to Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission: Application of the Outward Facing Actions Test to LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Provisions

20 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2019 Last revised: 1 Nov 2019

Date Written: June 1, 2019

Abstract

For over a century courts have embraced a framework distinguishing the behavior of religious organizations on the basis of whether the actions are inward or outward facing. This standard safeguards the rights of organizations to develop and enforce their religious tenets among their members and engage in self government without unconstitutional government intrusion. However, courts have also been clear that the rights of religious organizations to engage in actions that impact members of the general public and non members are not unlimited. As a federal court held in Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, the right to believe is not “absolute” and can not be practiced in “utter disregard of the clear constitutional rights of other citizens.” As the legal rights of LGBTQ people become more cemented, it is imperative that courts remain faithful to this well established standard and recognize the rights of LGBTQ people in a way that is consistent with this nation’s civil rights jurisprudence.

Keywords: LGBTQ, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, LGBT, sexual orientation, sex stereotyping, public accommodations, Title II, Piggie Park, church autonomy, discrimination, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Masterpiece, Colorado Human Rights Commission

Suggested Citation

Maril, Robin S, From Piggie Park v. Newman to Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission: Application of the Outward Facing Actions Test to LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Provisions (June 1, 2019). Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3466795 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3466795

Robin S Maril (Contact Author)

Human Rights Campaign ( email )

United States

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