Sorry, Hobby Lobby, You're No Religious Organization

Judge denies company's request to skirt birth control requirement

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 20, 2012 9:24 AM CST

(Newser) – Hobby Lobby asked a judge to release it from the ObamaCare requirement that will force it to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after pill, but there's just one problem: Hobby Lobby isn't a religious organization, the judge pointed out yesterday when denying the chain's request. The arts and crafts store, along with sister company Mardel, sued the government in September, saying the ObamaCare requirement violates the religious beliefs of their Christian owners. The suit compared the morning-after pill to abortion, the AP reports; the stores also objected to coverage for some intrauterine devices.

In his ruling, the judge acknowledged that churches have been released from such birth control provisions, but "Hobby Lobby and Mardel are not religious organizations," and he found no case that granted "secular, for-profit corporations ... a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion." The companies plan to appeal. Hobby Lobby, which is closed on Sundays and calls itself a "biblically-founded business," is the biggest business to file a lawsuit against ObamaCare, the AP notes.

Customers walk to a Hobby Lobby store in Dallas on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012.
Customers walk to a Hobby Lobby store in Dallas on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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