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The Right to Discriminate


Who could have guessed that the Hobby Lobby case would lead to religious groups citing their right to discriminate against groups they think Jesus doesn’t like? Oh yeah, pretty much everyone.

This week, in the Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court ruled that a religious employer could not be required to provide employees with certain types of contraception. That decision is beginning to reverberate: A group of faith leaders is urging the Obama administration to include a religious exemption in a forthcoming LGBT anti-discrimination action.

Their call, in a letter sent to the White House Tuesday, attempts to capitalize on the Supreme Court case by arguing that it shows the administration must show more deference to the prerogatives of religion.

“We are asking that an extension of protection for one group not come at the expense of faith communities whose religious identity and beliefs motivate them to serve those in need,” the letter states.

This completely fits the worldview of Alito and Thomas, where people can discriminate against whoever they want so long as the discriminators follow the policy points of the Republican Party and those discriminated against vote for Democrats.

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  • MAJeff

    Yeah, this was pretty much a given.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the crazy county clerk in eastern PA tries to spin this on the appeal of her standing claim’s rejection.

    • Pat

      Ok, I’ve finally figured out a way that the Administration should deal with the HL verdict, or would if I was in charge of things.

      They should work out the extra costs that unintended pregnancies, which more often go high-risk, and almost always result in children, are actually going to cost. They should use a pretty high level for unintended pregnancies. Then those costs should be distributed among the anti-contraception plans only. The differences in price should be spelled out for each employee and each hire.

      “Your insurance costs an extra $50 a month to cover the likelihood of unintended pregnancies, which are expected from this plan that conforms to your bosses’ religious expectations about birth control.”

      Plus, you could mandate signs for their customers, so they know that the bosses take their religion uber-seriously. Like the fascists who won’t make wedding cakes for gay couples, they will just fade away.

  • mds

    This week, in the Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court ruled that a religious employer could not be required to provide employees with certain types of contraception.

    “Religious employer”? Wow, that elision didn’t take long.

    • Davis X. Machina

      I had one once. Cardinal Law. Corporation sole, Archdiocese of Boston.

      But, yeah, anything outside of that and you’re skipping several steps.

      • efgoldman

        I had one once. Cardinal Law.

        How many decades did it take you to remove the stench?

        • Satmar

          Only takes until the statue of limitations expire.

  • tsam

    Decision Monday, LGBT discrimination Wednesday. What took you fucking fascist shitstains so long?

    • Malaclypse
      • efgoldman


      • tsam

        HAHAHA!! +[a LOT]

    • Ken

      They sent the letter Tuesday.

  • I wonder how many hospitals are drafting a letter stating that in light of this ruling, they shouldn’t be required to follow the HHS directive on hospital visitation. (Hospitals must allow patients to designate visitors without regard to orientation/gender id, marital status…)

    • Denverite

      Oooh, client pitch! (Don’t worry, I’ll charge my super top end rate.)

      • Denverite

        (Just kidding. On the pitching.)

        • I suspect there are practices that need to be told this ruling doesn’t mean they should order a big “No Jooos or queermonauts allowed” sign for the office door.

          But that might deprive an HC attorney of the chance to work with slimy, hate-breathing troglodytes.

          I’m kind that way.

          • ExpatJK

            Or take their big sign out of the storage they put it in.

          • Denverite

            Alas, I can think of at least three big organizations here that very well might pay for advice on how they can screw over same sex partners.

            Of course, the good news is that since HCA has bought up a good chunk of the market, that’s fewer religiously-affiliated and nonprofit hospitals!

            • Lee Rudolph

              HCA is plenty big enough to buy up a nice little denomination to call its own, too!

            • runsinbackground

              Which ones are you thinking of, so I know where not to go? Is one of them St. Luke’s?

              • Denverite

                Sorry to break it to you, dude.


                P/SL, Rose, Swedish and a bunch more.

                • Denverite

                  Basically, if you don’t want to throw some dollars HCA’s way, you can go to Denver Health , Porter, Anschutz or do the Kaiser thing.

                • runsinbackground

                  Swedish is already on the shit list for those ads they had a couple of years ago trying to get stroke victims to groan out “take me to Swedish” in response to all questions, but thanks for the heads-up.

          • That kid in the corner


            MARRY ME

  • Warren Terra

    The new Boss’s Prayer, mandated to be said before the paycheck is handed over:

    Our chief stockholder and CEO,
    hallowed be your name.
    Your bonus come,
    your will be done,
    at this branch, as it is in Washington.

    Give us this week our weekly pay,
    and prolong us our debts,
    as we also have forgotten our pensions.
    And let us not into fornication,
    but deliver us from revels.

    For thine is the corporation,
    and the power, and the glory,
    for ever and ever, Amen

    • NewishLawyer

      That was inspired

  • NewishLawyer

    A given.

    IIRC there was a line in the decision about how claiming religious liberty is not a shield to promote other forms of illegal discrimination. Let’s see how this plays out in courts.

    • NonyNony

      Ah but discriminating against LGBT isn’t illegal because they aren’t a protected class.

      IANAL, but when I read that wording my first thought was “Alito is making sure to write it so that homophobes can cite ‘religion’ and be allowed to discriminate against LBGTs even if they get granted protected status.”

      If that comes to pass, my estimation of the vileness of members of the SCOTUS bench will have to be raised a bit. A tiny bit, but a bit.

  • ExpatJK

    Well, when one considers the extent of the severe, severe burden suffered by True Americans* in the event they must deign to even consider the existence/feeling of those non-peoples**, the religious burden becomes just crystal clear.

    *for True Americans, read white cis Christian men
    **for non-peoples, read everybody else

  • Jim Crow

    Get ready people! I’m back and I’m better than ever!

    • Southern Baptist Convention

      As the song by that horrible sinner RuPaul says, We’re going back, back, back to our roots!

    • ralphdibny

      You must respect my sincere religious belief against serving Negros at my lunch counter hiring teh gayz. I follow the teachings of my Lord and Savior who said, “And lo, do not mingle with their kind, for they have the cooties.”

    • Gwen

      We demand a song and dance routine.

      Also, water cannons.

      • tsam

        Don’t forget cuddly puppies.

  • So can we discriminate against asshole fundie Christians? It’s only fair. Indeed, my religion DEMANDS it.

    • tsam

      Imagine the cosmic butthurt…Oh lord–that would make me all tickly in my spot.

    • Warren Terra

      Surely their faith demands that we underpay them? For ’tis easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven …

      • Linnaeus

        Underpay? Hell, why not go for a religious exemption to the 13th Amendment?

        • Warren Terra

          Well, the Court ruled for Hobby Lobby on the basis of the RFRA, not Free Exercise, so that couldn’t happen. But every bit of workers’ rights legislation before the RFRA is fair game.

          • Linnaeus

            Right. I’m being tongue-in-cheek here.

    • Based on past encounters with fundamentalists I can easily imagine someone discriminating against worshipers of the Scarlet Woman, Muslims and atheists.

      • Malaclypse

        Based on growing up among fundamentalists, I can easily imagine someone discriminating against worshipers of the Great Whore of Bablyon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations of the Earth Roman Catholics.

        • joel hanes

          Based on growing up among humans, I can easily imagine someone discriminating against [ any outgroup ].

          Where [ any outgroup ] is used here to mean any of

          people from a different tribe
          people with a different gender
          people with a different sexual orientation
          people with different pigmentation
          people who speak a different language
          people who speak my language with an accent
          people with different religious practices
          people who eat unfamiliar foods
          people with physical handicaps
          people who dress “funny”
          people with unusual hair styling
          short people (cue Randy Newman)
          unattractive people
          old people
          young people

    • efgoldman

      So can we discriminate against asshole fundie Christians? It’s only fair.

      Remember the AZ pizza parlor that put up the sign “We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Arizona Legislators?”
      Someone will follow up, using “catholics” or “bigots” or something, and the sputtering from RWNJ ministers will be enough to break the drought in the Southwest.

      • Mike L.

        I think such signs were fairly common here in Flagstaff.

  • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

    You’d seriously deny the right of Mormon traditionalists to discriminate against people bearing the Mark of Cain?

    • Linnaeus

      And who are we to say that that belief is wrong? It’s sincerely held!

    • the Mark of Cain


      • Tsam

        Ha! + eleventyfive

  • mud man

    I have a religious objection to spending tax money on war materiel. Where do I send that letter?

    • Hogan

      Those should be addressed to the Bureau of Who Gives a Shit.

    • yinz

      i know that there’s a nearly 100% chance you’re being flip, but this is A Thing i ran across growing up in a historic peace church:


  • Megalon

    So, if some fundy Muslim decides to use this to discriminate against Christians, for instance “I don’t have to give him a day off for Easter Monday it’s against my religion to support Catholic Idolatry!” the Supreme Court would be fine with that?

  • runsinbackground

    “I am a very strong supporter of LGBT rights, and I am really excited about the prospect of extending provisions against discrimination in federal contracts. But I am also aware that this is an issue that provokes real differences among some of the most important religious organization on the front lines of providing care for the poorest and most vulnerable.”

    Is this an actual “Munich Moment”? Remember, the World Vision International debacle proved that a significant fraction of Schneck’s brothers and sisters in Christ are willing to literally let children starve rather than work with philanthropic organizations that hire gay people (and almost entirely without prompting by Mat Staver et al).

  • Ernest Miller

    One interesting question is how the Hobby Lobby decision will interact with SCOTUS’s refusal to take on Spencer v. World Vision, letting stand a 9th Circuit decision that World Vision could fire non-Christians (or at least non-Christians as they define them). World Vision’s mission wasn’t religious, but it was a religious organization, so the 9th Circuit said the firings were okay. Since closely held for-profits can now be considered religious organizations, they should be able to fire on the basis of religion at will. Which, of course, allows for firing sexually active homosexuals, if your religious forbids it. Seems to me that the petitioners are merely being polite by asking for an exemption. If Pres. Obama doesn’t grant an exemption, then they can sue for it and stand a more than reasonable chance of being successful.

    The government already allows exemptions for hiring and firing based on religious discrimination by religious organizations. Isn’t Hobby Lobby a religious organization? Sure, its mission isn’t religious, but neither is World Vision’s. Shouldn’t Hobby Lobby be able to hire only Christians, or only Christians for the important positions? And couldn’t this definition of Christian just be a backdoor means of discriminating against LGBT? After all, one of the points in World Vision is that they got to decide what counts as Christian for their purposes.

  • herr doktor bimler

    more deference to the prerogatives of religion

    I can has Benefit of Clergy? kthxbai.

    • past contingent

      I can has Benefit of Clergy? kthxbai.

      Sadly, no. The cart is this way.

      You needed to prove literacy. Simple awareness of all Internet traditions is insufficient.

  • Chris

    The ultimate prize: legalizing discrimination across the board, striking down the parts of civil rights legislation that make it illegal to discriminate against protected categories in restaurants, hotels, what-have-you, and giving the assholes who fifty years ago flocked to Nixon and Reagan because they thought that was an attack on their constitutional rights the victory they wanted.

  • burnspbesq

    Is there any reason to believe that the Adminisration will cave on this?

    In some parts of the left, every day is Chicken Little Day. Or, perhaps more accurately, Sore Winners’ Day.

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