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Challenge to Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law Thrown Out by Judge

A federal court in Florida dismissed a challenge to the state’s “don’t say gay” law last week, but left open the possibility the case could be refiled in the future.In a 25-page opinion issued last Thursday, U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor, who was appointed to the bench by former President Donald Trump, found the plaintiffs Equality Florida, Family Equality, and a group of teachers, students, and parents had not established standing to file the case.“The principal problem is that most of plaintiffs’ alleged harm is not plausibly tied to the law’s enforcement so much as the law’s very existence,” wrote Winsor, noting no injunction issued by a court could resolve that issue.The ruling came in response to motions filed by Equality Florida and Family Equality requesting discovery in the case filed in April.
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SCOTUS Declines to Block Order Forcing University to Allow LGBTQ+ Club
(CNN) -- The Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote declined on Wednesday a request from Yeshiva University to block a lower court order that requires the New York university to recognize a "Pride Alliance" LGBTQ student club.In an unsigned order, the Supreme Court noted that the New York state courts had yet to issue a final order in the case, and that Yeshiva could return to the Supreme Court after the New York courts have acted."The application is denied because it appears that applicants have at least two further avenues for expedited or interim state court relief," the court said.Justice Samuel Alito, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett, dissented from the court's order, noting that the lower courts could take "months to rule.""I see no reason why we should not grant a stay at this time," he said.Noting that the school objected to recognizing a group that would have implications that are not consistent with the Torah, Alito said, "The First Amendment guarantees the right to the free exercise of religion, and if that provision means anything, it prohibits a State from enforcing its own preferred interpretation of the Holy Scripture.""The upshot is that Yeshiva is almost certain to be compelled for at least some period of time (and perhaps for a lengthy spell) to instruct its students in accordance with what it regards as an incorrect interpretation of Torah and Jewish law," Alito continued.He said that a state's imposition of its "own mandatory interpretation of scripture is a shocking development that calls out for review," and added that "it is our duty to stand up for the Constitution even when doing so is controversial."Justice Sonia Sotomayor -- who has jurisdiction over the lower court
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Yeshiva University Can Refuse to Recognize LGBTQ+ Club: Sotomayor
(CNN) — Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor agreed Friday night to temporarily block a lower court order that required Yeshiva University to recognize a "Pride Alliance" LGBTQ student club.The order from Sotomayor -- who has jurisdiction over the lower court in the case -- suggested that the full Supreme Court is still considering the issue and will issue a more permanent order at a later time.For now, the university is temporarily shielded from having to recognize the group.The case is complicated by threshold issues -- such as the fact that New York State appeals courts have yet to rule on the merits of the dispute -- which could be slowing down the court's considerations.Former and current students of the university brought the original challenge arguing that the school's position violated a New York public accommodation law that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation.The case is the latest religious liberty controversy to come before the Supreme Court.Last term, the court's conservative majority ruled in favor of religious conservatives in two separate disputes and in 2021, the court sided with a Catholic foster care agency that refused to consider same-sex couples as potential foster parents.Justice Samuel Alito has repeatedly called for greater protections for the free exercise of religion including during a July speech in Rome. "Religious liberty is under attack in many places," Alito said.Yeshiva lost at the lower court level when a trial judge focused on whether the University qualified as a religious corporation within the meaning of the New York City Human Rights Law, a public accommodation regulation that bars discrimination based on sexual orientation.
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