USA: Recent gender & sexual orientation discrimination cases suggest that firms cannot use religious grounds as justification, say lawyers

Author: George Rede, Oregonian/OregonLive (USA), Published on: 12 March 2015

“Sweet Cakes by Melissa case reflects U.S. trend: Discrimination laws trump religious beliefs,” 10 Mar 2015

….[A] trio of rulings point to a national trend in public accommodations law, where business owners' claims of freedom of expression and religion are generally being trumped by anti-discrimination laws, two Portland employment lawyers say…"What people have yet to accept or understand is that gender identity and sexual orientation is a protected class," said…a partner with the Stoel Rives law firm…"If you are selling to or working with the public, you're not going to be able to rely on your religious beliefs" [said a trial lawyer with Dunn Carney]...On Tuesday, an administrative law judge will hear arguments to determine compensatory damages in the Sweet Cakes by Melissa case. State civil rights investigators have recommended that [the] bakery…pay $150,000 in damages to [the plantiffs] for violating their civil rights…[Also refers to Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts, Hands on Originals]

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Related companies: Arlene's Flowers and Gifts Hands On Originals Sweet Cakes