(Covington, Kentucky) The creation museum of Answers in Genesis will go ahead after a ruling today by the Hon. Douglas M. Stephens that dismissed a zoning appeal/lawsuit against AiG and Boone County (Kentucky). His decision came early this afternoon at a Kenton County courtroom in Covington, Kentucky.
In dismissing the lawsuit, Judge Stephens ruled that Fiscal Court Commissioner Robert Hay, who voted on May 6 to approve AiG’s rezoning of land for the museum, did not have to recuse himself from the vote because he had contacts with some of the AiG staff members. The judge ruled that Comm. Hay’s contacts with AiG staff were not improper and did not influence his vote.
“I am obviously elated at the judge’s ruling. It followed state law as well as the zoning regulations for Boone County,” declared Ken Ham, president of the Bible-upholding ministry of Answers in Genesis. “We look forward now to building our museum, a facility that will offer an alternative view to the evolutionary indoctrination that is found in almost all natural history museums in America.”
On May 6, Comm. Hay and other commissioners (i.e., the Fiscal Court) of Boone County voted 3-1 to approve AiG’s rezoning of 47 acres fronting I-275, a few miles west of the Cincinnati airport. The following month, a lawsuit was filed in an attempt to stop the rezoning, naming AiG and the county as defendants. It was spearheaded by a couple who are not neighbors of the proposed site (they live over 2 miles away), but who have demonstrated a clear bias against AiG’s Biblical teachings; another couple, living near the site, were also plaintiffs.
The lawsuit was originally to have been heard in October, but the plaintiffs had the original judge remove himself for alleged potential conflict of interest on his part. This tactic forced a postponement, and saw the assignment of a new circuit court judge, the Hon. Douglas M. Stephens of neighboring Kenton County.
AiG is in the process of completing its site master plan and hopes to put up Phase 1 of the museum within two years (and as donations come in). Since the May vote, AiG had been going ahead anyway with exhibit and architectural planning.
Mr. Ham gratefully acknowledged AiG supporters (over 2,900 Tri-state residents put their museum support in writing) for their backing over the past 3 years.