The Kentucky Department of Transportation requres slow-moving Amish buggies to sport an orange, reflective triangle to warn oncoming traffic — just like those on tractors and other farm vehicles. But some Amish believe their religion forbids the displaying of bright colors, and so several of them now sit in a Kentucky jail.
This past Monday, eight members of the Swartzentruber Amish sect, who refused to put orange safety triangles on their buggies on the grounds that the bright color violates their modesty code, were ordered into Graves County Jail by a district court judge. (They used reflective tape instead.) The men had also refused to pay the subsequent fines they received from local law enforcement as they say paying the fines would amount to complying with a law they believe violates their religious strictures.
Thus, they're in jail — on an official charge of misdemeanor contempt of court.
According to The Smoking Gun, the defendants received between three and 10 days in a county lockup. In deference to their religion, however, the men were allowed to wear dark-colored prison garb instead of the typically mod orange jumpsuits.
So how come the county can grant an exception on the grounds of religion in one instance, but not in another. More to the point — how come Kentucky doesn't care about Amish people?