December 11, 2015

Groups File Lawsuit Over RFRA 'Fix'

file photo

file photo

INDIANAPOLIS -- Two of the groups most opposed to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act’s so-called “fix” filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging that measure, saying it infringes on their religious liberties.

In the wake of controversy surrounding RFRA, lawmakers amended the language to say businesses can’t refuse service to people based on sexual orientation and gender identity – with exceptions for churches, their schools, and religious nonprofits.

But the Indiana Family Institute and American Family Association of Indiana – two conservative, religious advocacy groups – say they don’t fall into those categories.  A lawsuit filed Thursday in Hamilton County Court claims the RFRA fix is therefore unconstitutional, violating the groups’ free exercise of religion (among a host of other alleged constitutional violations, including freedom of speech and equal protection). 

The suit notes that while RFRA gave groups like the Indiana Family Institute a right to fight government regulations that burdened their religious freedom, the fix took that right away. 

LGBT rights organization Freedom Indiana calls the lawsuit a “distraction” that will ensure the state’s reputation continues to suffer.

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