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Court Hears Case Challenging Local Human Rights Ordinances

The so-called “fix” to Indiana’s controversial religious freedom law was part of a court hearing Wednesday. Religious groups are suing four cities because they say the “fix” and city ordinances prevent them from barring LGBT people from their events. ​

The religious organizations challenging the so-called RFRA “fix” are the American Family Association of Indiana and the Indiana Family Institute and its political arm. They filed suits challenging anti-discrimination ordinances in Carmel, Indianapolis, Bloomington and Columbus. The religious organizations say the ordinances prevent them from holding events in those cities. And they say the “fix” to RFRA nullifies their defense against the ordinances.

The city attorneys say the groups have no right to bring the lawsuit because they can’t show any real harm; the cities rebut that the group’s arguments are hypothetical and conjecture. But attorney for the religious groups Jim Bopp says intent matters.

“People go get loans based upon their intention to do things,” Bopp says.

Attorneys for the cities say the constitutionality of their ordinances and state law doesn’t need to be decided; they say the suits should be dismissed outright.

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