Federal Judge rules Kentucky ark park can hire based on religiou - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Federal Judge rules Kentucky ark park can hire based on religious beliefs

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A federal court ruled in favor of Kentucky’s biblical theme park Monday, with a judge saying the new Ark Encounter park should qualify for tourism-related tax breaks – according to a release from the company.

State officials had said they won't allow public money to help finance operations of a full-sized replica of Noah's Ark unless the group behind the project says in writing it won't base hiring on applicants' religion.

The state withdrew its offer for tax breaks, saying the group was no longer honoring its pledge to not discriminate in hiring for the park.

Shortly afterward, the company behind the park, Answers in Genesis, sued the state over the tax breaks.

"I rejoice in the court's decision today," said Ken Ham, AiG president. "The decision today is a victory for the free exercise of religion in this country, including in hiring."

Judge Greg Van Tatenhove of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky upheld the company’s right to hire staff based on their religious beliefs.

The judge wrote Answers in Genesis may "utilize any Title VII exception for which it qualifies concerning the hiring of its personnel."

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