Indiana court denies challenge to religious objection limits

An Indiana court rejected an appeal Thursday from conservative religious groups that have unsuccessfully challenged limits on the state’s religious objections law that were adopted under then-Gov. Mike Pence.

Posted: Sep 10, 2020 4:30 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana court rejected an appeal Thursday from conservative religious groups that have unsuccessfully challenged limits on the state’s religious objections law that were adopted under then-Gov. Mike Pence.

The state appeals court ruling upheld a suburban Indianapolis county judge’s decision last year that the three groups failed to prove they had faced any harm, agreeing with arguments by the state and four cities that the organizations lacked standing to sue.

Pence, a Republican who is now vice president, signed the 2015 law prohibiting any government actions that “substantially burden” a person or organization’s ability to follow religious beliefs amid a national uproar that the law could be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians. But days later, the Republican-dominated Legislature made revisions blocking its use as a legal defense for refusing to provide services and preventing the law from overriding local ordinances with LGBT protections.

The appeals court found that the organizations had not faced any interference in their activities from the state law or local civil rights ordinances that include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Indianapolis, Carmel, Bloomington and Columbus, which is Pence’s hometown.

“The (groups) continue to hold their training events in the cities since the passage of the ordinances, and they have not altered their presentations and programs in any fashion,” the ruling said. “In short, the (groups) remain free, without interference, to express their religious views on marriage and human sexuality as they always have.”

Attorney James Bopp, who represents the Indiana Family Institute, Indiana Family Action and the American Family Association of Indiana, argued during an October hearing that they were subject to “grotesque stripping” of their religious rights by the Legislature.

Bopp said Thursday the groups have limited their activities to avoid legal action under the city ordinances and would consider an appeal to the state Supreme Court.

“They have declined to have meetings in Indianapolis or Bloomington or Columbus because of the threat of enforcement of those ordinances and under the First Amendment that is an injury,” Bopp said. “You don’t get to go to Bloomington and talk with people.”

At least 21 Indiana cities or counties — representing about 38% of the state’s population — now have local LGBT protection ordinances, according to the gay-rights advocacy group Freedom Indiana.

West Lafayette
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: °
Kokomo
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 41°
Rensselaer
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 39°
Fowler
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 39°
Williamsport
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 43°
Crawfordsville
Clear
40° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 40°
Frankfort
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: °
Delphi
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 46°
Monticello
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 46°
Logansport
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 43°
Remaining Dry and Trending Warmer for the Upcoming Work Week.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 109683

Reported Deaths: 3495
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20510758
Lake10095315
Elkhart6268107
St. Joseph593596
Allen5849198
Hamilton4589109
Vanderburgh322728
Hendricks2617120
Monroe230036
Johnson2236122
Tippecanoe214213
Clark208156
Porter201144
Cass19239
Delaware182460
Vigo173822
Madison154675
LaPorte135137
Floyd128661
Howard126163
Kosciusko117417
Bartholomew114257
Warrick109335
Marshall97524
Boone94046
Dubois92718
Hancock89842
Noble86932
Grant85833
Henry74224
Wayne73614
Jackson7279
Morgan68538
Shelby66129
LaGrange62911
Daviess62827
Dearborn61628
Clinton59012
Harrison55124
Putnam5159
Lawrence50028
Montgomery49521
White47514
Knox4689
Decatur45039
Gibson4444
DeKalb43111
Miami4223
Greene41335
Fayette41213
Jasper3752
Steuben3577
Scott35010
Sullivan32612
Jennings30712
Franklin29325
Posey2910
Clay2885
Orange28124
Ripley2788
Carroll26713
Wabash2588
Washington2511
Wells2462
Starke2457
Whitley2446
Jefferson2383
Adams2343
Fulton2292
Tipton21522
Huntington2123
Spencer2074
Randolph2037
Perry19914
Newton16711
Jay1660
Owen1641
Martin1570
Rush1494
Pike1341
Vermillion1240
Fountain1152
Pulaski1131
Blackford1092
Brown993
Crawford990
Parke932
Benton880
Ohio767
Union760
Switzerland670
Warren381
Unassigned0225

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events