The Bopp Law Firm, PC
1 South 6th Street
Terre Haute, IN 47807-3510
November 17, 2016
Contact: James Bopp, Jr.
Suit Challenging Gay Rights Ordinances and RFRA “Fix” Survives Attempt to be Thrown Out of Court
INDIANAPOLIS -- Plaintiffs Indiana Family Institute and American Family Association of Indiana will get their day in court in a suit filed against Carmel, Indianapolis-Marion County, Bloomington, and Columbus. Plaintiffs challenge the constitutionality of the cities’ gay rights ordinances as well as the “fix” of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). On November 16, 2016, the trial court judge denied the cities’ attempt to throw the case out of court.
Plaintiffs are educational and public-policy organizations that only support traditional marriage between a man and a woman. Because of the gay rights ordinances, Plaintiffs can be required to hire speakers and employees that advocate for same-sex marriage or otherwise face penalties imposed by the city. Furthermore, the religious exemptions in the statute only apply to clergy and churches. Plaintiffs are directly affected by the gay rights ordinances.
RFRA gave substantial protections to religious beliefs and practices, but the RFRA “fix” denied some Hoosiers those protections to people who support traditional marriage. The effect of the “fix” is that it picks out certain religious views to protect and not others, effectively pitting some religions against others.
Plaintiffs challenge Carmel, Indianapolis-Marion County, Bloomington, and Columbus gay rights ordinances and the RFRA “fix” under the United States and Indiana Constitutions.
The judge required minor changes to the original complaint.
James Bopp, Jr., lead counsel for the Plaintiffs, said: “Plaintiffs currently stand stripped of the heightened legal protection provided under RFRA and must host speakers and hire employees who advocate for same-sex marriage contrary to their religious beliefs. We believe in the constitutionally protected free-exercise of religion that affects people who advocate for traditional marriage, just as it protects all other religious beliefs.”
This case is Indiana Family Institute v. City of Carmel, Indiana. The judge’s Order can be found here.