The words below were spoken by Representative Brian Linder this afternoon on the floor of the State House of Representatives in Frankfort, Kentucky. Representative Linder represents House District 61 which includes Grant County, where the Ark Encounter is being built. He has been an avid supporter of the Ark project in the midst of opposition by secularists. After Monday’s ruling by a federal judge in AiG’s favor, Representative Linder shared the following with his colleagues this afternoon:
In 2015, I filed House Concurrent Resolution 163, urging the Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet to reconsider its decision to remove the tax incentive from the Ark Encounter. In the resolution, I stated that the Ark Encounter successfully met all of the statutory and administrative qualifications and criteria necessary to receive the tax incentives. The denial of the incentives was a violation of Answer in Genesis’ First Amendment rights. Yesterday, a federal judge concurred that “the Commonwealth’s exclusion of AiG from participating in the program for the reasons stated - i.e., on the basis of AiG’s religious beliefs, purpose, mission, message, or conduct, is a violation of AiG’s rights under the First Amendment to the federal Constitution.”
I applaud the ruling of the United States District Court in this case. A state cannot simply discriminate because they do not agree with one’s religious freedom. The Ark Encounter, as previously stated, met all criteria and the prior administration’s motives were simply based upon discrimination. Hopefully, we can move beyond this. The new administration has embraced this project and my county, region, and our state will see the benefits for years to come.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,