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US: Supreme Court rules that religious freedom applies to businesses

  • SM Kovalinsky

    Well, David Badash of NCRM took a more optimistic view. Anyone think he is right? (Hopefully) “The Court ruled that a closely-held company can be exempt from the contraception requirements of the Affordable Care Act. This is a very narrow 5-4 ruling that favors the religious right but in far less weight that they had desired or assumed.

    The Court wrote a very narrow ruling and specifically denounced corporations that want to “cloak” discrimination in religious beliefs. It also made clear this applies only to contraception and Obamacare.”

  • lit per

    Another reason why Christians should be locked in jails!

    • Scruffster

      Wow, that’s very tolerant of you.

      • Dermot Mac Flannchaidh

        Now I know you can’t follow my Tumblr activity here anymore like you did before, and I hadn’t commented in this article before now anyway. But if you have such a low opinion of gay people and their rights, why do you still intentionally come here, to Pink News in the United Kingdom? You know, it’s really okay to be gay – you don’t have to be ashamed of it or anything.

        That said, yes, lit per’s comment was perhaps excessively intolerant. But you’re here in the gay community now, where countless people have been so burned by harrowing fundamentalist religious persecution, that it shouldn’t be at all surprising that some people take a categorically hostile view to religion. For many, there’s not enough compassionate religion around to counterbalance the cruelty and toxic influence of fundamentalist religion. And as often is the case, many people are atheists or fervent antitheists.

        I think the ideal situation is for people to personally believe what they want to believe and to accept and respect their dissimilar neighbors. But it’s up to all sides to stop persecuting one another. And in our experience, most of the cruelty comes from fundamentalist religious groups.

      • lit per

        more tolerant than Christian “Kill the gays” law

  • Robert W. Pierce

    Sets a very dangerous precedent. On this side of the pond, we have Baroness Hale of our own Supreme Court calling for more protection/exemptions for religious people. I’m sorry but religious beliefs have absolutely NO place in one’s employment or business when serving the public subject to the equalities law of the land of which nobody should be exempt.

  • Mark Y

    So bad. Such a very bad ruling. Religious freedom to do what? – they will now use this to discriminate against people – mainly gay people.

    • SM Kovalinsky

      So you do not think Badash is correct in saying that it cannot be applied broadly (against LBBTs) in future cases? His quote:

      This is a very narrow 5-4 ruling that favors the religious right but in far less weight that they had desired or assumed.

      The Court wrote a very narrow ruling and specifically denounced corporations that want to “cloak” discrimination in religious beliefs. It also made clear this applies only to contraception and Obamacare.” http://www.thenewcivilrightsmo..

      Also, from the SCOTUS ruling: “This decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to hold that all insurance-coverage mandates, e.g., for vaccinations or blood transfusions, must necessarily fall if they conflict with an employer’s religious beliefs. Nor does it provide a shield for employers who might cloak illegal discrimination as a religious practice.”

      • Mark Y

        I’m not a lawyer, but as far as I know, ruling’s set precedents which make cases in the future more complicated. There will be far right lawyers, religious lawyers, as we speak working out how they can use this, and inspired by the ruling to discriminate, no matter what anyone says. It doesn’t matter how narrow a ruling is. The fact is they have ruled that a business can discriminate because of their religious beliefs – dressed up as religious freedom. Very bad ruling.

        • SM Kovalinsky

          As I said above , then this is really deeply disturbing. It seems our SCOTUS has been great on some decisions, awful on others….

      • Bobbleobble

        No I don’t think he’s right. Case after case will now be launched attacking any and every aspect if Obamacare on the grounds of religious belief and I suspect that SCOTUS will rarely if ever decide that something is illegal discrimination. In fact it’s arguable that this case in itself is since it impacts women disproportionately.

        I tend to agree with Bader-Ginsberg that this is a truly dangerous decision. I’d also note that the five justices in favour were all male and all Catholics, make of that what you will.

        • SM Kovalinsky

          That is disturbing. I had hoped he was correct. Thank you for your feedback.

        • allan

          I agree this could be the start of a religious rampage at a time we seemed to be making positive advances in the USA. The phrase ‘give them an inch and they’ll take a mile’ springs to mind . The religious right is far from rational and will see this win – however limited – as a call to crusade. Old catholic men in positions of power are dangerous to woman and the LGBT community.

      • Rumbelow

        The law allowing the religious to discriminate is restricted to close companies such as those owned and run by a single family with a religious ethos as is Hobby Lobby.
        It is bad law privileging the religious.

    • Maryland Kid

      Fortunately, the decision also laid out restrictions on the exercise of corporate religious rights that will prevent people from using them to discriminate against gay people. In fact, this ruling will probably be used as a precedent by the lower courts to strike down those types of discriminatory laws and practices. Really, it was a much more narrow ruling that many people are making it out to be. Of course, within that narrow scope, the decision is absolutely ridiculous. I find the whole idea of Corporate Personhood absurd.

  • Brian Martenis

    Why sex and religion can’t be “friends” baffles me. Sex is basic to most people’s general happiness and well being. I really don’t think God/Jesus would want to take that away. Makes no sense to me.

    • anon

      God is peevish and vindictive, because it was made in man’s image.

    • Carl

      If you wanted to control people, as religion does, what basic human instinct would you want to control? SEX!

  • anon

    Another outstandingly regressive descision from the united states of arrogance.

  • lee

    backward America -the land of freedom yeah right

  • CHBrighton

    How on earth do you police this kind of lunacy? The catholic church forbids the use of most forms of contraception but the vast majority of catholics use most forms of contraception. So whose freedom are we talking about here? The hierarchy of the catholic church to dictate to its adherents what they may or may nor do? Or the rights of individual catholics to make their own choices?

  • Jones

    In Britain we had none of this but it seems in the US they want to give religious people more freedom to do whatever they want, the only bit of justification a few scraps of paper bundled together in a book.

    • Robert W. Pierce

      True we don’t but what worries me is Baroness Hale of the Supreme Court saying religious people need more protections. That sends a signal to the religious nutters to demand exemptions from the equality law which could open up a whole other tin of worms. Where would it stop if that were to happen? I can just hear Andrea Minichiello Williams making noise about that one. It’s just the thing she wants to see happen in the UK, carte blanche for religious nutters to discriminate any which way.

      • Jones

        I’m glad the law is not decided by Baroness Hale and she really should not be commenting on what should or shouldn’t be the law of the land, but interpreting what is already there.

  • Daniel

    Ignoring the floodgates elements of this decision in opening this as precedent for LGBT cases, this is an incredibly bad decision in law. If an organisation gains status as a religion, does this mean that organisation’s wishes must take precedent, regardless? It’s a very subjective and impossible situation to legislate, and a very very poor legal decision.

    • Remember too, this is the same country where corporations are considered to be “people”. This came about through massive lobbying by corporations, to allow them to legally blackmail and influence the election process and those in Washington. It was the biggest act of over-the-table corruption the world has perhaps ever seen.

      We really shouldn’t be so surprised that this has happened in a country where the law and the government can be easily purchased if you have enough money going to the right people.

  • Jase

    This was the big step off the cliff.

    The USA is now officially Jesusland, Supreme Court approved and in law.

  • Craig Young

    It’s a good reason to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. With a third (and hopefully fourth) Democrat term in the White House, there may be an opportunity to return the US Supreme Court to the judicial mainstream on most issues.

    • I think it’s very likely she’ll win the Presidency.

      The Republican party is in a mess, split between those who understand that their religious and moralistic crusading is being rejected by the public, and those in the Tea Party fanatic club who want to install some kind of puritan government – not unlike the Taliban and Sharia.

      The American public is moving to the left in massive numbers, the statistics show that increasing numbers of American’s are in favour of LGBT rights and same sex marriage. The youth are liberal on the whole, as shown in the numbers from the last election where the Republican party utterly failed to attract the youth vote.

      Even youth who call themselves Christian are entirely f’ed off with the Republican party and their extremist nonsense. It’s an old and out-dated party that brings nothing but negativity and nonsense to the table.

      Also, after having the first black president, it seems likely that there will be a desire to elect the first female president too.

  • TK

    If they’re not screaming about gays getting married, it’s some other form of b.s taking place in the grand old U S of A! Discrimination is discrimination, regardless if it’s shrouded in religious beliefs or not. Once a bigot, always a bigot, regardless of what religion you are. It shouldn’t matter if your gay, male or female. You are first and foremost a human being. Unfortunately, humanity see’s us completely differently. It’s no wonder why many gays are making the move, to a country where crap like this does not exist. Gays are treated completely different in Canada. WE don’t have this bullsh*t here. It’s such a shame, that a country as big as it is, a country that many look towards as the land of dreams. More like the land of nightmares, if your LGBT. Keep on dreaming, for until such time this all calms down (God, I do hope it’s soon), there won’t be any peace, until all LGBT’s in all of the USA, get the respect each and everyone so rightfully deserves. Religion has no business here, PERIOD! Be strong my brother’s and sister’s. The world as you know it, is watching and praying for everyone, that one day, you’ll be equal like everyone else.

  • ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    I am scared U.S government might replace current constitution to bible.

  • And any company that treats employees and customers like this now risks losing up to 50% of their customer base, given that more than half of all Americans believe in equal marriage and LGBT rights.

    The fact is, society has changed and these religious nutters are lagging behind in the dark ages. I can guarantee that in the next five years these companies will either change their policies when they realize they are being rejected by 50% of the population, or they’ll go out of business.

    Funny how these “Christians” love to beat other people over the head with their “Holy Book” to inflict their will on others, but they conveniently ignore that their own Bible tells them that having such greed is a sin.

  • Alexander Kelso Shiels

    Again these Religious Nut Jobs are getting their way! Time all Religions were disbanded, and consigned to the scrap heap.

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