Here are some important law-and-religion news stories from around the web:
- In Fellowship of Christian Athletes v. San Jose Unified School District Board of Education, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, held that Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is entitled to a preliminary injunction requiring the school district to restore recognition to FCA chapters as student clubs. The school district revoked FCA’s recognition as a club because FCA requires its officers to affirm a Statement of Faith and abide by a sexual purity policy, which the 9th Circuit said violated the club’s Free Exercise and Free Speech rights.
- In Catholic Healthcare International, Inc. v. Genoa Charter Township, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a Michigan federal district court to enter a preliminary injunction that will allow a Catholic healthcare organization to restore a Stations of the Cross prayer trail as well as a stone altar and mural after Genoa Township zoning officials insisted that the Prayer Trail should be treated as a church for zoning purposes. Plaintiffs argued that the zoning ordinance as applied to them violates RLUIPA, and the 6th Circuit agreed.
- In Damiano v. Grants Pass School District, two Oregon educators filed their opening brief in the 9th Circuit after a federal district court ruled against them. The educators were terminated after they voiced their opinions online about gender identity education policy solutions, rooted in their religious beliefs, which they claim violated their Free Exercise and Free Speech rights.
- In Virden v. Crawford County, Arkansas, the Western District of Arkansas denied plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction after the Crawford County Library System implemented a policy removing books with LGBTQ+ themes from the children’s sections of the libraries. Plaintiffs claim this violates the Establishment Clause because the policy was implemented due to pressure from religious objectors. However, the court left open the possibility of a narrower injunction later on.
- In The Catholic Store, Inc. v. City of Jacksonville, the Middle District of Florida entered a consent decree which concluded that The Catholic Store, a privately owned Catholic book store in Jacksonville, is exempt from Jacksonville’s public accommodations law. The order exempts the bookstore from the non-discrimination provisions relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.
- France’s Council of State upheld the government’s ban on Muslim girls wearing the abaya at school. The court found that the ban did not constitute a serious interference with private life, freedom of worship, or the right to education.