The high-profile case, which pits conservative religious beliefs against gay rights, could decide whether business owners may cite their religious views as a reason for refusing to serve gay and lesbian couples.
The case will be heard in the fall, and it could have a wide impact in states that prohibit discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation.
No federal law requires businesses to serve all customers without regard to their sexual orientation, but 21 states have “public accommodations” laws that prohibit such discrimination against gays and lesbians.
They include California and six other states in the West, Illinois and three other states in the upper Midwest, and 10 states on the East Coast from Maryland to Maine. No state in the South or on the Great Plains has such a law.