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Vermont inn settles discrimination case brought by same-sex couple

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.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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