AG Rokita defends the right of the Catholic institution to uphold the Church’s doctrine on same-sex marriage

Attorney General Todd Rokita is defending religious freedom in a case involving the Indianapolis Archdiocese’s right to uphold church teachings on same-sex marriage in hiring and firing decisions.

“Our founding fathers guaranteed religious freedom at the very beginning of the Bill of Rights,” Attorney General Rokita said. ” It is not a coincidence. Religious freedom is America’s first freedom. Here in Indiana, I will do everything in my power to protect that freedom for Hoosiers.

Attorney General Rokita filed an amicus brief on Friday supporting the archdiocese’s right to require Catholic schools under its jurisdiction to enforce a morality clause prohibiting employees from same-sex marriage. A teacher at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis has sued the archdiocese after he was fired following his marriage to another man.

Courts should not “allow litigation over whether and how the archdiocese can recognize Catholic schools,” Attorney General Rokita wrote in the brief. “The United States has a long tradition of preventing judicial entanglement in religious disputes – an entanglement that can only lead to interference with the autonomy of the Church.”

Last fall, Attorney General Rokita filed an amicus brief with the Indiana Court of Appeals supporting the archdiocese in the case. At this point, he is supporting the archdiocese in a motion to transfer the deliberation to the Indiana Supreme Court.

In a separate but very similar case, Attorney General Rokita in January led a coalition of 16 states defending the right of Roncalli High School in Indianapolis to uphold Catholic doctrine on same-sex marriage.

Martha J. Finley