What you need to know about the Hobby Lobby ruling

The Impact Of

The Hobby Lobby Decision


As you know, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. today. You may have already seen media reports calling this a “narrow” decision about birth control.
We’re not so sure. The decision leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Will shop owners and businesspeople have a “religious freedom” right to discriminate against LGBT clients? The decision says religious freedom does not trump racial discrimination – but it says nothing about the rights of gay people or same-sex couples.
Could employers deny other types of medication and medical procedures (such as blood transfusions, vaccines and psychiatric medication) on the basis of this ruling? The court majority says its decision does not deal with those issues – for now. It left the door open for more challenges.
Do religious non-profits (hospitals, colleges, social-service agencies, etc.) also now have the right to deny their employees access to birth control? The decision implies that they don’t, but the language is not explicit. In fact, one lower court has already cited the Hobby Lobby ruling as justification to allow a religious non-profit to cut off contraceptive access.
You can be sure of one thing: The Religious Right and its allies in the Roman Catholic hierarchy will push this decision to the limits. A new front has been opened in the “culture wars” – just what Americans don’t want or need.
This is dark day for true religious freedom in America. 

But rest assured that AU’s legal and legislative teams are carefully weighing our options and planning our next steps.  In the meantime, please share this email and the graphic below, and check our Facebook page and Twitter feed for other info that you can share about the ruling.


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Americans United for Separation of Church and State

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