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Bloomington Being Sued For Allegedly Violating Religious Freedom Act
Updated February 3, 2016 4:50 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - The City of Bloomington and the Bloomington Human Rights Commission are being sued for violating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

In a complaint filed January 26, by Indiana Family Institute, Inc., Indiana Family Action, Inc. and the American Family Association Inc. allege that the Bloomington human rights ordinance, which prohibits discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity, violates their constitutional rights and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The groups says an amendment added to the act last year, that prevents individuals and businesses from using religious beliefs as a means to discriminate is unconstitutional.They say the amendment violates their constitutional rights at the state and federal level. They list equal-rights protections, freedom of speech and religious-liberty protections as some of the rights violated by the exceptions made in the amendment.

Bloomington is not the only municipality involved in the case. Indianapolis, Carmel and Columbus are also being sued for their local 
human rights ordinances.

The Bopp Law Firm in Terre Haute is representing the conservative nonprofits.

One specific example cited in the suit says that the Indiana Family Institute and Indiana Family Action cannot currently offer programs in Bloomington because they "would not allow same-sex married couples that do not uphold the biblical teaching on marriage and human sexuality into their programs," according to the court filing.

They will also not employ anyone who violates those same "biblical teachings."

­​On Monday, the City of Bloomington received notice of a lawsuit filed in Hamilton Superior Court against the City of Bloomington and the members of the Bloomington Human Rights Commission.

Regarding the filing, Mayor John Hamilton issued the following:

"The City of Bloomington has a long­-standing commitment to equal opportunity and diversity. This commitment was written into law as far back as 1965, when the Common Council created a Human Relations Commission, and that commitment continues to this day. I am proud to state that last year, Bloomington was the only city in the state, and one of only 47 cities in the country, to receive a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index. Our community will not waver in our support for equal opportunity and diversity because of a meritless lawsuit filed against the City of Bloomington by plaintiffs with no apparent ties to, or business in, our City, plaintiffs whose central concern seems to be disappointment with the state legislative fix to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and not with anything Bloomington has done or might do."

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