1 Year After Hobby Lobby, 5 Ways Religion Has Been Used to Discriminate

A year ago today, the Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby didn’t have to include birth control in its employees’ health insurance because of religious objections. Employees from Hobby Lobby and other corporations left without coverage have been paying for their employer’s religious beliefs — literally — ever since.

A year later, here is a look at some other ways religious belief has been invoked to harm other people.

1. Adoption Denied

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law a bill that would allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to deny loving homes to vulnerable children.

Adoption Denied

2. Baby Refused Medical Care

In Michigan, a pediatrician said that she would not help a baby because the baby had two moms. Unfortunately, Michigan does not have a statewide law protecting against this type of discrimination.

Baby Refused Medical Care

3. Pregnant Woman Refused Treatment

Tamesha Means was rushed to a Catholic hospital in Michigan after her water broke at only 18 weeks of pregnancy. Based on Catholic religious directives, the hospital refused to terminate the pregnancy and sent her home twice even though Tamesha was in excruciating pain. There was virtually no chance that her pregnancy was viable, and continuing it posed significant risks to her health.

Pregnant Woman Refused Treatment

4. Child Labor Laws Ignored

A judge ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act prevented investigators from requiring the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to answer questions about the use of children as workers at a pecan ranch in Utah.

Child Labor Laws Ignored

5. Same-Sex Couples Refused Service

A Colorado bakery refused to make a cake for David Mullins and Charlie Craig’s wedding reception in violation of longstanding state law, based on the owner’s religious beliefs. The oral argument on appeal will take place in early July.

Same-Sex Couples Refused Service

For more on using religion to discriminate, go to https://www.aclu.org/issues/religious-liberty/using-religion-discriminate

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Not really sure that Christianity is under attack. The ACLU is probably taking care of the interests of non-majority views and belief systems. Christianity has the radio propaganda behind it, including non-Christian radio hosts who lull their listeners with the status quo. The spirit of the ACLU is not to undermine a particular faith, but to help protect the interests of as many as possible without compromising the principles of others. It isn't going to hurt a business if a Jew gets off Saturday and a Baptist gets off a Sunday. If a Muslim wants off Friday (yes, it is not illegal to be one of them in the USA), that should be a reasonable accommodation.

As to birth control, it is a win-win for all. People shouldn't have to bring into the world someone when there is a problem with job security and income. Majority conservative Christians don't want to pay for welfare or food stamps or free lunches for school kids. This way the poor can remain less poor and anti-choice Christians who are against birth control and helping to feed the poor are all winners.

Non-Christian A...

It's the Christians that are intolerant of those AMERICANS who don't believe the same thing that they believe.

Ron Smith

There is a big difference between being offended and being discriminated against. Religious freedom laws give corporations and private businesses the right to openly discriminate against anyone that doesn't have the same religion as them. I can agree that the wedding cake was a bit ridiculous, but as far as adoption and the pregnant woman, that is discrimination. The ACLU fights for everyone's rights, even Christians. Thankfully it will not allow Christians to put their religion on everyone else that does not agree with them.


YOU are brain dead no doubt. Xianity is the majority and feels gov't should accommodate their beliefs and not protect those of the non majority. IDIOTS one and all led by the belt sander cerebral cortex burnishing lobotomised GOP?Religious WRONG whom you are the paradigm.

scott mccoyAnonymous

My god bring down the ACLU and everything you believe in .there is no court in hell for you will be judged by god in haven

Scottie McCoiee

That right scotty mccoyAnonymous

Every being is judged by God in heaven. Wherever, whoever, whatever God is to you, let it judge you based on your peaceful nature and understanding what you do not comprehend. We are all "ignorant" in the presence God because it is transcending. Don't let ignorance transcend. Use a Condom, Bruhahahahahaha!

William Monell

What we believe in is the United States Constitution.


Thank you ACLU.


If you're in business serving the public, and your beliefs won't allow you to serve a certain part of the public, then maybe you should think about a business that doesn't have to serve the public. Prejudice runs deep in all kinds of ways and we now have to decide if we all want to let it continue. Religion can be very prejudiced and run very deep, so think about having a business that serves everyone and if you can serve everyone. Consider if it doesn't fit your your beliefs, you maybe are in the wrong business. If god actually does love everyone than everyone should be seen as all the same, regardless of how they happened to evolve differently than you did.


Thomas Jefferson once said, "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." The key part of this idea is that when your will violates my rights it is no longer your rightful liberty. Hobby Lobby allows others' will, i.e. beliefs, to violate others' equal rights. Your beliefs are not threatened by not violating someone's rights, as you still have every right to believe and practice them in any way that does not negatively impact my ability to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. And therefore it is the Hobby Lobby decision that is, as T.J., the original states-rights man, might call "tyrant's will."


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