Today is the one-year anniversary of when the religious discrimination lawsuit was filed by Answers in Genesis/Ark Encounter against the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The federal judge recently ruled in our favor (January 25). This was a victory for religious freedom—for the free exercise of religion as guaranteed under the US Constitution—in this nation.
Also, read our press release about the judge’s ruling at this link, along with a link to the entire 71 page ruling by the federal judge. Here is a short update:
- Since the state has decided not to appeal the ruling, the matter should be concluded shortly. We anticipate that the state will agree to what’s called a “consent judgment” to convert the preliminary injunction to a permanent injunction and resolve the case once and for all.
- The court’s ruling means that Ark Encounter’s application for the tourism tax incentive can be duly considered based upon the objective criteria of the program. Since the state’s own consultants have already advised that Ark Encounter clearly meets all the criteria, we expect the approval to be granted.
- In a larger sense, the other practical effect of the court’s ruling is that it will be a published opinion and will set an important precedent on this issue. It affirms the well-established principle in our jurisprudence that government must be neutral in its treatment of religious organizations and that states cannot discriminate against the viewpoints of Christians or others simply because of what they believe.
I would add that we are grateful to the new governor, Matt Bevin, and his administration for acknowledging the importance of the constitutional rights affirmed by the court’s ruling, and for supporting this important matter of economic development for Kentucky. This project will be a tremendous boost to the regional economy and a win-win scenario for all involved.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,