"This is a prime example as a place where people's religious rights are being burdened, and therefore under RFRA the state has to justify that," said ACLU of Indiana legal director Ken Falk. "It makes no sense to ban people on a Sunday if there are kids there on a Thursday . . .
The ACLU of Indiana opposed RFRA, arguing that the law would allow discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals. But Falk said the lawsuit uses RFRA "as it was originally contemplated" to protect religious freedom.
"We're not going to pretend it doesn't exist now," Falk said. "It does exist. The legislature said it wants to protect religious liberties, and that's exactly what we're trying to do."This is a case where the ACLU of Indiana is clearly playing politics with the state's new law. The claim it asserts could have been brought in federal court under the federal RFRA law long before now. The ACLU has not shied away from using the federal law to go to bat for Muslim inmates at Terre Haute's federal prison to force prison officials to allow the inmates to conduct group prayer meetings on a daily basis as opposed to the weekly basis prison officials had traditionally allowed for inmates of different religious faiths. The ACLU of Indiana has traditionally been run by leftist, partisan Democrats and things haven't changed.
Advance Indiana wonders if the ACLU of Indiana would take up the cause of a state lawmaker fired from their private sector job because he or she supported RFRA. Rumors have been circulating in the Terre Haute area and around the State House that State Rep. Alan Morrison (D-Terre Haute) was separated from his long-time employment with Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology where he had worked since 2001 because some university supporters complained about his support of the RFRA legislation during this past session. University officials and Morrison did not respond to requests by the Terre Haute Tribune-Star on the reason for his termination. Advance Indiana reached out to a House Republican spokesperson for Rep. Morrison earlier today for comment on those rumors but has not yet received a response. Anti-RFRA activists have been engaged in organized Alinsky-style attacks on a number of politicians, in addition to Gov. Mike Pence, who supported RFRA, which have included efforts at harming their business interests and pressuring their employers to fire them from their jobs.
Indianapolis' State Sen. Scott Schneider's ice business was negatively impacted after RFRA opponents began contacting his customers threatening to boycott their businesses unless they stopped doing business with Schneider's business. Several businesses with long-time ties to Schneider's Mr. Ice cut their ties to the business because of Sen. Schneider's role in sponsoring RFRA and the vocal pressure they were under from gay rights and other left-wing activists to stop doing business with Mr. Ice.