Last year, the Indiana American Civil Liberties Union feared the state's religious freedom law could be used to discriminate against gay and lesbian Hoosiers. Now, the organization is using it in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a Muslim inmate.
The ACLU is suing the Boone County Sheriff's office, accusing the jail staff of refusing to serve a halal diet to Gannon Thomas. Filed on Wednesday, the lawsuit alleges that the staff violated Thomas' First Amendment rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, as well as his rights under Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The case is among early uses of the state's religious freedom law, which Gov. Mike Pence signed in 2015 amid controversy that placed the state in the national spotlight because some opponents believed it could be twisted to discriminate against gay and lesbian Hoosiers.