Pedreira v. Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children

AU's Role: 
AU's Involvement Began: 
April 2000

In April 2000, Americans United and the ACLU filed suit in federal court challenging state financing of Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children. Baptist Homes discriminates against gay employees on religious grounds and teaches sectarian beliefs to its young residents.

Our complaint alleged that taxpayer financing of these activities violates the Establishment Clause and that the organization's anti-gay employment policy violated federal and state employment laws. In July 2001, the trial court dismissed the employment claims and the portion of our Establishment Clause claim that relied on Baptist Homes's employment policies. 

The trial court later dismissed our remaining claims on the ground that Plaintiffs lacked standing as taxpayers to challenge the government's funding of Kentucky Baptist Homes. We appealed this ruling.

In August 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a decision overturning the trial court's decision and reinstating our Establishment Clause claims. The U.S. Supreme Court denied Baptist Homes's petition for review in April 2011.

Read our Brief in Opposition to Defendant's Supreme Court petition. 

The case then returned to the trial court. In July, we filed a second amended complaint in comformance with the Sixth Circuit's decision. We are continuing discovery to obtain additional evidence to support our case. Now in its thirteenth year, this is our oldest active lawsuit.