When Horses and Freedom of Religion Collide

Daily News Article - February 7, 2017


1. What is the problem?

2. Describe the 2014 ordinance at the center of the debate.

3. Why have some Amish residents filed a lawsuit against the city, its mayor and police chief?

4. How is the city responding to the lawsuit?

5. On what ground is the plaintiff’s attorney arguing the case?

6. a) How would the Amish residents like the dispute to be resolved?
b) Why is the city opposed to this solution?

7. Donald Kraybill, an Amish studies expert at Elizabethtown College said, “The state has an interest in protecting health. That needs to be balanced against this particular group’s freedom to practice their religion without interference from the government.”
a) Who is being unreasonable: the city or the Amish? Explain your answer.
b) What do you think: is the religious freedom of the plaintiffs being violated by this ordinance? Explain your answer. (Is it a health and safety issue? Is is religious discrimination?)
c) What reasonable accommodation could/should each/either side make?