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A quick review of the most important information in this edition

July/August 2017

Two ministers who operated a wedding chapel challenged the constitutionality of a municipal "public accommodations" ordinance in Idaho. They based their challenge on the fear of punishment for their refusal to perform same-sex marriages. The court dismissed the lawsuit on the ground that the plaintiffs lacked sufficient "standing" to pursue their claim in federal court. This case and its ramifications for churches are addressed in a Feature Article.

Members of a mosque sued other members for alleged financial improprieties. A New Jersey court ruled that the lawsuit must be resolved by binding arbitration.

A Maryland court ruled it was barred by the "ministerial exception" from resolving a wrongful termination lawsuit a dismissed minister filed against his former church.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that an exclusion in a church's insurance policy for criminal or intentional acts precluded coverage not only for the person committing the wrongful act but also for the church, even though it was being sued for negligence.

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that it was barred by the First Amendment from resolving a defamation claim brought by a married couple against their former pastor and church.

An Illinois appeals court ruled that a judge's harsh comments about a youth pastor who had sexually molested minors in the church were not grounds for a reduced sentence or new trial.

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