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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Do you really not understand the difference between a developing fetus and a child?


has nothing to do with the ruling on Hobby Lobby.

Christopher Reader

Thank you for fighting against the preposterous idea that businesses can hold religious beliefs because their owners do.

William Monell

I also have my standards. I RESERVE the right to REFUSE SERVICE to ANYONE who uses CAPITAL LETTERS in RIDICULOUS WAYS!

C Lesslie

As a business owner, I will ALWAYS reserve the RIGHT to REFUSE service to ANYONE I chose, whatever my reasons are, they are MINE and MY RIGHT!!!! The ACLU TWISTS everything they can (also known as MANIPULATION) to use as they see fit. Religion is the one under attack and everyone BETTER open their eyes. There is injustice in this world everyday and I do indeed like sticking up for the under-dog so to speak, but when you wrong, I have to tell you you're wrong. The ACLU needs to be wiped out. ^I have the RIGHT to raise my family as I SEE FIT, and I DO NOT APPROVE nor want my children EXPOSED to what I consider disgusting behavior, that IS MY RIGHT. NO ONE needs an organization that is dead set on the destruction of good values and morals. Simply just GO AWAY!!!


No you don't. You will serve equally all law abiding patrons that enter your establishment. If you do not, your establishment will be denied operational licenses until you fall within compliance with humanity.

How you raise your kids or conduct yourself is your own business. You will however comply with social structure benefiting all Americans.

That should be the reply to any business that decides one human is superior to another.


Well said.


So you have your rights but want to wipe out the ACLU because what they do??? Something is wrong with that statement.

Terence Conklin

Your comment hits the nail on the head. Somehow, in modern America, we have allowed governments to suspend our right to "life, liberty, and ..." at the license office door. I am not the least bit religeous and I hate to see discrimination, let alone be discriminated against but I believe we all need to be willing to accept that we don't have a right to be protected from others who choose not to serve us for whatever reason. To be so protected, we must expect we should have greater rights than the business owner, which is ridiculous. Our Constitution does not bestow rights on us. It protects OUR rights from being abused by our governments. When our liberty is reduced by a licensing agency, no matter how noble they belive their reasons, we all lose.


As a business owner, you should learn the law. If your business refuses service to someone because of their race or religion, or being in some other protected class (which I hope sexual orientation and gender identity soon will be) your business is breaking the law and can be sued. That could cost your business tens of thousands of dollars, and might bankrupt your business. You can't claim to be victimized because you are not allowed to victimize others.


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