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Bluegrass Bonanza: Ky. Theocrat Loses Grip On Statehouse Seat

Political news of late has been dominated by three people – Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. They’ve certainly provided good copy, but there are some other things going on politically that you might not have heard about.

Let’s consider Kentucky, for example. The commonwealth has been the site of mostly bad news lately. Ken Ham’s “Ark Park” is getting taxpayer incentives, and the state’s Republican governor, Matt Bevin, is thrilled.

Museum Misadventure: Ky. Elementary School Takes Students To Ken Ham’s Creationist Exhibition

A Kentucky elementary school has a strange concept of what constitutes a reward given that it took a group of students to Ken Ham’s Creation Museum in 2012 as a prize for having “perfect” attendance.

“Perfect” belongs in quotes, here, because Lee County Elementary in Petersburg, Ky., has a rather flexible definition of perfection: students could miss one day of school and still qualify for flawless attendance. (Who knew perfection was open to interpretation?)

The ‘Ark Park’ Fiasco: Authentic Faith And The Perils Of Government ‘Help’

Thanks to a misguided federal court ruling, Kentucky taxpayers will soon be footing the bill for a package of tax incentives designed to prop up an evangelistic theme park based on the biblical story of Noah’s Ark.

Americans United has followed the saga of the so-called “Ark Park” for years. The attraction sprang from the mind of Ken Ham, a creationist who decided it would be a good idea to build a large replica of Noah’s Ark in Grant County, Ky.

Ky. Gov. Approves Marriage License Compromise

Kentucky marriage licenses will no longer require signatures from county clerks thanks to an executive order from the state’s new governor. Matt Bevin (R), who took office in December, said his order was intended to “ensure that the sincerely held religious beliefs of all Kentuckians are honored.”

(Un)Fantastic Five: AU’s Protect Thy Neighbor Project Announces New Tool To Track Faux ‘Religious Freedom’ Bills

As state legislatures gather across the country to start their 2016 legislative sessions, Americans United’s Protect Thy Neighbor (PTN) project is gearing up to monitor and fight legislation that would allow individuals, businesses and government employees to harm others in the name of religion.

Ky. Corporation Does Not Have ‘Religious Freedom’ Right To Discriminate, Says Americans United

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Hands On Originals Should Have Made T-Shirts For Gay-Pride Event

Hands On Originals, Inc., does not have a free-speech or free-exercise right to violate Lexington-Fayette Urban County, Ky., anti-discrimination laws, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
 
In a friend-of-the-court brief filed yesterday with the Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Appeals, Americans United said Hands On Originals cannot use the religious beliefs of its owner as legal cover for refusing to make T-shirts for a gay-pride event.
 
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Jesus vs. Mr. Magoo In Court?: Ky. County Official Hangs Drawings Of Cartoon Characters To Save Devotional Portrait

A Kentucky county courthouse may become the scene of a new First Amendment battle.

The Breathitt County Courthouse has displayed a charcoal sketch of Jesus since 1981, and Judge-Executive John Lester Smith says it’s not coming down – despite a recent letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF).

“‘Til a federal judge tells me otherwise, I intend for it to be as it is,” Smith told the Lexington Herald-Leader.

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