The Journal Gazette
Friday, September 11, 2020 1:00 am

Indiana court upholds religious freedom ruling

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS – An Indiana court rejected an appeal Thursday from conservative religious groups that have unsuccessfully challenged limits on the state's religious objections law that were adopted under then-Gov. Mike Pence.

The state appeals court ruling upheld a suburban Indianapolis county judge's decision last year that the three groups failed to prove they had faced any harm, agreeing with arguments by the state and four cities that the organizations lacked standing to sue.

Pence signed the 2015 law prohibiting any government actions that “substantially burden” a person or organization's ability to follow religious beliefs amid a national uproar that the law could be used to discriminate against gays and lesbians. But days later, the Republican-dominated Legislature made revisions blocking its use as a legal defense for refusing to provide services and preventing the law from overriding local ordinances.

The appeals court found that the organizations had not faced any interference in their activities from the state law or local ordinances that include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Indianapolis, Carmel, Bloomington and Columbus.

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