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ACLU: RFRA violates law that keeps sex offenders from attending some churches

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has filed a lawsuit challenging the law that bans sex offenders from attending church services in facilities that also houses a school.

The ACLU filed the suit on behalf of two men from Allen and Elkhart counties. The group said this ban violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act – a law that went into effect on Wednesday.

According to a statement from the ACLU, “the men wish to attend church services without fear of being arrested because church attendance and group prayer are essential to their ability to worship in a meaningful way.”

The Attorney General’s Office responded with a statement that said, “By law the Indiana Attorney General’s Office is required to provide legal representation to county prosecutors named in civil suits in their official capacities, and to defend state laws the Legislature passed from challenges that plaintiffs’ lawyers file. The Legislature has made policy decisions to place certain requirements on convicted sex offenders concerning registration and preventing contact with children in order to protect the public. The State’s lawyers will review the plaintiffs’ lawyers’ complaint and respond in court at the appropriate time.”

The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in Elkhart County.

Calls made to Rep. Tim Wesco’s office were not returned. Sen. Dennis Kruse was not available for comment.

TheStatehouseFile.com is a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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