Noah's Ark park leaders to sue Kentucky after tax breaks pulled - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Noah's Ark park leaders to sue Kentucky after tax breaks pulled

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Answers in Genesis, which unsuccessfully sought tourism tax incentives for a biblical theme park in northern Kentucky, said Tuesday it will file a federal lawsuit against Kentucky for “viewpoint discrimination.”

The group expects to file suit on Thursday, attorney Mike Johnson said.

Ken Ham, president and CEO of Answers in Genesis, said in a video posted to that the proposed lawsuit involves “freedom of religion, free exercise of religion, freedom of speech in this great nation of America.”

“Numerous bloggers and media outlets have spread a lot of misinformation about the tax rebate program and also a lot of false information about employment laws as they relate to the Ark Encounter project,” Ham said.

In December, Kentucky withdrew its offer of tax breaks for the park, which would build a large replica of the Noah's Ark as described in the Old Testament. At the time, Gov. Steve Beshear said the leaders of Ark Encounter “had previously agreed not to discriminate in hiring based on religion (but) they now refuse to make that commitment and it has become apparent that they do intend to use religious beliefs as a litmus test for hiring decisions.”

In a press release, Answers in Genesis said, “Anti-Christian groups objected to AiG's statutory right to limit its hiring to people of the Christian faith, and to the content of the messages that will be presented at the Bible-themed park.”

Answers in Genesis is being represented by attorneys from Freedom Guard and the Center for Religious Expression. Appearing with Ham in the video, Freedom Guard attorney Johnson described his nonprofit organization as a “public interest law firm dedicated to the defense of religious liberty in America.”

Johnson said the Ark Encounter project was blocked from Kentucky's incentive program despite meeting the necessary criteria.

The state has “engaged in viewpoint discrimination. They have decided to exclude this organization (Answers in Genesis and its affiliates) from a tax rebate program that's offered to all applications across the state,” Johnson said.

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