Frankfort, Kentucky — January 25, 2016. A federal court in Kentucky granted a preliminary injunction today in favor of Answers in Genesis (AiG), ensuring that the organization will not be unconstitutionally excluded from a public program because of their religious identity and message.
AiG is developing a theme park featuring a scale model of Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky, promising to attract millions of dollars in tourism. To help get the Ark project afloat, AiG applied for Kentucky’s tax rebate program established to stimulate tourism projects like this. The Commonwealth initially approved AiG and lauded the project, but when atheist groups clamored, Kentucky officials reversed course, rescinding the approval on the ground that AiG and the Ark project were too religious to participate in the program.
The Center for Religious Expression (CRE) along with co-counsel, Mike Johnson, filed suit in federal court, pointing out how Kentucky’s discriminatory treatment violated AiG’s constitutional rights. The court agreed, observing that equal participation does not violate the Constitution, but discriminating against them because of their religious identity and message does.
“This is a victory for the First Amendment and for common sense,” said CRE Chief Counsel Nate Kellum. “The Constitution does not tolerate discrimination against citizens because of their religious views.”