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Lawsuit Challenging Local LGBT Ordinances, RFRA Moves Forward

A lawsuit challenging local LGBT ordinances and the so-called “fix” to Indiana’s controversial religious freedom law will move forward after a court’s ruling this week.

Conservative religious groups the American Family Association of Indiana, the Indiana Family Institute and its political arm are challenging anti-discrimination ordinances in Carmel, Indianapolis, Bloomington and Columbus. They’re also challenging the so-called “fix” to Indiana’s religious freedom law, RFRA. The fix says the controversial law can’t be used to deny services, accommodations, employment or housing to members of the LGBT community. The conservative groups say the fix prevents them from barring LGBT people from their events.

The cities asked a Hamilton County judge to dismiss the case; the judge denied those requests. The judge’s ruling also requires the religious groups to add the state of Indiana to the lawsuit.

Attorney James Bopp, representing the groups, says that won’t change his plan – the Attorney General’s office already planned to join the case if it advanced beyond the motions to dismiss.

“Now we have to sue them directly. Either way, we were going to be defending against the Attorney General,” Bopp says.

Bopp says a timeline for the case will be decided after the state is added.

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