Rokita defends Roncalli on same-sex marriage

Todd Rokita

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is leading a 16-state coalition defending the right of Roncalli High School, a Catholic institution in Indianapolis, to uphold church teachings on same-sex marriage in its hiring and firing decisions.

“The First Amendment protects religious institutions from undue governmental intrusion into matters of faith and doctrine,” Attorney General Rokita said. “We will stand firm in protecting Hoosiers’ constitutional liberties, including religious freedom.”

A former guidance counselor in a same-sex marriage filed a lawsuit against Roncalli High School and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis after Roncalli opted not to renew her contract. In August, a federal district court ruled in Roncalli’s favor. The former staff member filed an appeal in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

On Tuesday, Attorney General Rokita filed an amicus brief supporting Roncalli High School and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

“Regardless of one’s personal views on same-sex marriage,” Attorney General Rokita said, “the First Amendment clearly permits churches and faith-based organizations to require ministerial staff to support their institutional beliefs.” Attorney General Rokita’s amicus brief directs the court to a clear pattern of judicial precedent affirming the autonomy of religious institutions in making employment decisions regarding their ministers, including staff members at religious schools.