Friday, November 18, 2016

Suit Challenging Indiana Anti-Discrimination Laws Moves Ahead

As reported by the Indianapolis Star, an Indiana state trial court judge is allowing a lawsuit filed by three conservative advocacy organizations to move ahead.  The suit challenges laws barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  The organizations assert that the laws infringe on their free exercise rights. The suit challenges the ordinances of four Indiana cities as well as the so-called "fix" to Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act that prevents using RFRA to discriminate. The order (full text) in Indiana Family Institute, Inc. v. City of Carmel, Indiana, (IN Super. Ct., Nov. 16, 2016), however, requires plaintiffs to file an amended complaint adding the state of Indiana as a party. In a statement (press release), plaintiffs' counsel 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.