SOUTH EUCLID – Today, Tuesday, May 28, The Lyceum filed a notice to dismiss its own lawsuit, which had challenged South Euclid’s non-discrimination ordinance as infringing on its religious liberty. The withdrawal comes days after the ACLU of Ohio submitted a brief in opposition to the Lyceum’s motion for a Preliminary Injunction.
“The Lyceum realized it had no legitimate attack on South Euclid’s ordinance, which does not permit people or organizations to discriminate, even if they claim their religious beliefs require it, except in the narrow instance of hiring a ministerial employee,” noted Freda Levenson, Legal Director for the ACLU of Ohio. “This valid law is vindicated with the withdrawal of the lawsuit – although the suit should have never been filed in the first place. Municipalities are unquestionably entitled to pass nondiscrimination laws to protect people who work, live, and patronize businesses in their towns.”
"The Lyceum’s decision to drop its lawsuit is a gratifying victory for our community, our residents, the LGBT community and, indeed, for all those working to put an end to discrimination across our nation. It provides important validation that South Euclid's nondiscrimination ordinance is legal and valid. I’m proud of this community and its leaders. We need to continue to work together to provide laws that guarantee equal value for every life in South Euclid and across the nation. If any member of our community is vulnerable, then we are all vulnerable," added Keith Ari Benjamin, Director of Community Services for the City of South Euclid.
“As an ordained minister myself, I know that religious freedom is never a license to discriminate. This is a victory for fundamental fairness. The plaintiff’s claims lacked merit, and we are delighted that those attempting to overturn a city’s non-discrimination ordinance have finally come to their senses and voluntarily withdrawn their case,” said J. Bennett Guess, Executive Director of the ACLU of Ohio.
Read the notice of dismissal.