In September, crafts heavy-weight Hobby Lobby sued to be exempted from providing contraceptive coverage to its 13,000 employees, apparently based upon their presumption that owner David Green’s being an Evangelical Christian somehow makes Hobby Lobby a religious institution. They were mistaken.
U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton disagreed with the company’s conclusions and denied their request in a 28-page ruling in which he pointed out that religious institutions already have exemptions from covering contraception, but that Hobby Lobby is a private business and therefore does not qualify:
“Hobby Lobby and Mardel [its partner company] are not religious organizations,” the ruling states. “Plaintiffs have not cited, and the court has not found, any case concluding that secular, for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby and Mardel have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.”
David Green’s personal religious objections to certain types of birth control that fall under Obamacare’s contraception mandate is certainly his right as an American citizen. But Hobby Lobby cannot deny its employees coverage for contraception, and particularly for the morning after pill (which was their main objection) simply because their owner is an Evangelical Christian.
“Every American, including family business owners like the Greens, should be free to live and do business according to their religious beliefs,” Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a statement.
Hobby Lobby’s attorney said the companies’ owners, the Green family, plan to appeal. To what end no one really knows. According to Obamacare, While non-profit religious institutions are already exempt from the mandate, private businesses do not have the same exemption. Case closed.
In the end what is most amazing about the lawsuit is that it even reached a court. Hobby Lobby’s contention that the company is exempted from certain laws that religious institutions are exempted from is laughable. Hobby Lobby and David Green should be ashamed for tying up the courts with their rediculous assertions.