State officials announce unlawful basis for denial of tax rebates
on December 11, 2014
This is the news release that was sent to the national media and has been slightly adapted for the web.
Bowing to pressure by secularist groups outside the state, Kentucky officials announced late Wednesday a decision to deny the Ark Encounter theme park an opportunity to participate in a popular tax rebate incentive program offered by the state’s tourism office.
By letter on Dec. 10, state officials told the theme park’s developer, Answers in Genesis (AiG), that the only way AiG could participate in the rebate program is if AiG would agree to two conditions: 1) waive its right to include a religious preference in hiring, and 2) affirm that it will tolerate no “proselytizing” at the theme park.
AiG has countered that the state’s new conditions are unlawful because it is well-established under both federal law (Title VII) and state law (KRS § 344.090) that religious organizations and entities like AiG are specifically permitted to utilize a religious preference in their hiring. Continue reading →