Friday, July 10, 2015
Hobby Lobby, America's leading retailer in the arts, crafts and hobby industry, has always run its business in accordance with Biblical teachings. It has stood firm on its religious principles, as it did last year in its moral fight – in which the SC ruled in its favor - against the requirement in the Affordable Care Act for employers to provide coverage for abortifacent drugs.
Now that the same-sex marriage has been ruled as a constitutional right, Hobby Lobby is once more under a moral attack. Its religious principles are to be tested again in these trying times, especially when the freedom of expression is at stake.
Hobby Lobby is a committed supporter of workplace diversity and inclusion, and an equal opportunity employer, yet it also upholds its right to religious freedom which is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The Supreme Court ruling (Obergefell_v._Hodges) on same-sex marriage holds that gay and lesbian couples share the same fundamental right to marry as anyone else, which is guaranteed “by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
As it was last year when LGBT advocates were of the general opinion that the SC ruling on the Hobby Lobby case could pave the way for individuals, groups, businesses, faith groups and religious institutions to “discriminate” based on one's religious beliefs, the same concern still exists with regards to the new ruling on same-sex marriage.
This is just one article among others that express this particular concern.
The Obergefell decision is on a collision course with the Hobby Lobby decision of last year. In that case, the Supreme Court extended the illogic of Citizens United to hold that a for-profit, closely held corporation could raise (and succeed on) a religious liberty defense to the insurance contraceptive coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Although the court majority asserted the holding was limited to that issue, it has opened the door for businesses to refuse to serve customers, based on a religious objection to the customer's sexual orientation. - Read more here:
The problem with such view is it overlooks the right of businesses, like Hobby Lobby, to religious freedom of expression, and puts them in a bind giving them not much of a choice, but to go against their deeply held religious beliefs, or risk having to be punished by law, or even closing down for good so as not to compromise their religious principles. One may even risk losing one's home.
A case in point would be that of the bakers who refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. Two Christian bakers who refused to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding have been ordered to pay $135,000 in damages by July 13 or else the state of Oregon could place a lien on their home. The story goes the bakers can "ask for a stay of enforcement while they pursue their appeal,” the spokesman said. But there’s a catch. The person who will determine whether or not to stay the order — is BOLI Commissioner Brad Avakian — a vocal supporter of the LGBTQIA movement. - Read more here:
A similar story unfolds for another bakery – in the state of Colorado. A Colorado judge today determined that a Lakewood bakery unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to sell them a wedding cake. - Read more here:
Jim Daly, the president of Focus on the Family, a prominent conservative Christian group based in Colorado Springs, said he was worried that Christians would be subjected to “prejudice and persecution” if they stood against same-sex marriage. He suggested that a variety of issues were likely to be litigated, including whether the ruling would force Christian universities to house same-sex couples in dorms for married students and whether cake makers and florists would have to work same-sex weddings. - Read more here:
Thus, the question is if Christian-run businesses such as Hobby Lobby are forced to close down on account of the SC ruling on same-sex marriage, is this diversity working in American society? Let us know what you think.
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Posted by Your Diversity Career Consultant at 1:18:00 AM