ACLU of Florida Responds to Hobby Lobby Ruling

Categories: Broward News

Photo by CyberXRef via Wikimedia Commons
On Monday, most of us had never heard of the arts and crafts store Hobby Lobby (there's one in Davie on South University Drive). But now, thanks to a controversial 5-4 Supreme Court ruling that sided with the retailer's religious rights, we're all up to speed.

And now the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has chimed in on the ruling, saying it endangers women and their health.

Basically, ruling says that for-profit employers with religious objections -- such as Hobby Lobby -- can opt out of providing contraception coverage to women under Obamacare.

See also: ACLU of Florida Files Complaint Over Transgender Student's Discrimination

"The Court allowed a religious claim by a for-profit company to endanger the health of its female employees and thereby endanger the health of women all across the country," ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon said in a news release.

"The court gave for-profit employers the power, based on a new notion of corporate religious belief, to deny contraception coverage to their female employees."

Simon went on to call the court's ruling "disturbing," pointing out the significance that the decision affects only women and their right to make decisions about their personal health.

"The attack on women's health is galling enough, but this is a dangerous precedent," Simon said. "As we have seen in Arizona and other states, there are some who would use religion to legitimize and legalize exemptions from anti-discrimination laws and other protections."

Simon, who calls the Supreme Court's decision "a huge step in the wrong direction," doesn't question the right to religious beliefs but questions if religious freedom means allowing a business to impose those beliefs on their employees.

For now, the ACLU is asking people who disagree with the ruling to sign a petition addressed to Hobby Lobby CEO David Green, telling him that those who oppose the ruling will be taking their business elsewhere:

Bosses shouldn't decide whether their employees have access to contraceptive coverage and I won't shop at any store where that happens.

Meanwhile, in a related case in Florida that is before the 11th Circuit, the ACLU has filed an amicus brief against similar claims brought against Hobby Lobby.

In Beckwith Electric Co. v. Sebelius, the case questions if the Florida-based for-profit electric company must comply with giving female employees access to insurance coverage for birth control through Obamacare.

Beckwith Order by Chris Joseph

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riverrat69 topcommenter

Can the Supreme Court please explain how a corporation fits into a church to get down on it's knees to pray?

KennyPowersII topcommenter

Disgusting ruling by the SC. Hobby Lobby buys their merchandise from China, a country that enforces birth control laws to minimize the population, but doesn't seem to mind that practice so long as they get their cheap shit for max mark up. Am I one of the few to see the hypocrisy? Also lost in the 17 day session by the SC, is the ruling that allows up close and personal protest by the anti abortionist mob. Wouldn't it be ironic if anti Hobby Lobby protestors are allowed to get up front with customers who support Chinese Birth Control laws as they attempt to shop.

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