Kentucky Ordered to Subsidize the Dinosaur Jesus Park

As you may recall, Kentucky state official ultimately decided not to subsidize the Noah’s Ark theme park located in Northern Kentucky just south of Cincinnati because doing so might violate the state constitution.

The creationist theme park gave lawmakers pause after it was revealed that they would refuse to hire anyone who isn't a creationist, but Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove ruled that it doesn't matter.

He roots this decision largely in a non-sequitur about what AiG’s obligations would be if they were sued by an employee alleging discrimination. As the judge notes, federal law exempts “a religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society” from the federal ban on employment discrimination “with respect to the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, association, educational institution, or society of its activities.” Thus, a religious group like AiG typically has the right to hire only members of a particular faith without having to face a federal lawsuit.

But the fact that federal law provides a particular exemption does not necessarily mean that Kentucky must also offer the same exemption. And it certainly does not mean that Kentucky must also provide tax subsidies to groups that engage in discrimination.

It's not clear what course of action state officials and lawmakers will take next, but it seems to me the judge's ruling doesn't actually apply to this case.

Answers in Genesis (AiG), the owner of the Dinosaur Jesus park, may be exempt from charges of discrimination under federal law, but that hardly compels the state to subsidize the company.

If the state were still under the control of Democrats, I'd guess they would either appeal or maybe even ignore the ruling given that it doesn't seem to apply, but the state is under the control of Matt Bevin (R) now.

Kentucky taxpayers may end up subsidizing this embarrassing project after all.