On Friday an inn in Vermont settled [text] a discrimination case brought by a same-sex couple who was turned away from the holding their wedding reception at the inn because of the owner's views on same-sex marriage. The Wildflower Inn was fined $10,000 in civil penalties and $20,000 to put in a charitable trust. The couple, Katherine Baker and Ming-Lien Linsley, said they will give the most money to the Trevor Project [advocacy website] and plan to give the rest to various other charities. The Alliance Defending Freedom [advocacy website], who represented the inn, claimed [press release] this case was discriminating against the owner of the inn's free expression. However, according to Vermont's Fair Housing and Accommodations Act [text, PDF], a public inn with more than five rooms that does not claim a religious affiliation may not discriminate based on sexual orientation.
The debate over LGBT rights is an ever expanding issue. A recent JURIST Feature provides an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of the topic. Earlier this week the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) [advocacy website] asked [JURIST report] the Supreme Court to review the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text; JURIST news archive]. In addition, JURIST has published two editorials related to DOMA earlier this month. The first focuses the potential constitutional flaws of DOMA [JURIST comment] and the second discusses the deeper federalism issues that are contained in the law [JURIST op-ed]. Late last month, a federal judge in Connecticut ruled [JURIST report] that DOMA was unconstitutional.