Dec 31: Masterpiece Cakeshop – Oregon version, and more

Judicial Branch

An Oregon appellate court upheld a decision against two bakers that refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

A Georgia man filed suit in federal court after being prevented from preaching on the sidewalk outside a large park and event venue originally created for the Olympics. He argues his freedom of speech was violated.

A federal court in Idaho ruled against a Mormon college student alleging religious discrimination by his tennis coach. The court agreed the student had been harassed, but said the behavior was insufficiently coercive to qualify as a curtailment of the free exercise of his religion.

Legislative Branch

The Senate failed to move forward on confirming Donald Trump’s nominee for Ambassador for International Religious Freedom this year. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback accepted the nomination in July, but will now have to be re-nominated in 2018. The position has been unfilled since Trump took office, and the uncertainty has hampered the running of Kansas’ executive branch.

50 States

The Nevada Supreme Court ruled that a lower court had contravened the First Amendment by disfavoring religion in its determination about where a child should attend school. The issue arose during divorce and custody proceedings, and one parent objected to the child attending a Lutheran private school, which the court privileged over the other parent’s preferences.

Other reads

The Washington Post profiled a dozen fascinating American religious figures who died in 2017.