Hobby Lobby, a privately-owned company with over 500 arts-and-crafts stores in 41 states, has sued the federal government over the HHS mandate. Hobby Lobby employs over 22,500 people, and has sales of over $1.3 billion per year. The company must comply with the HHS mandate in January of 2013, or face fines of $1.3 million per day. Hobby Lobby was started and is owned by the Green family in Oklahoma City.
The Becket Fund For Religious Liberty is representing the company, which is the largest company and the only non-Catholic business suing the government over the HHS mandate.
David Green, founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, said:
By being required to make a choice between sacrificing our faith or paying millions of dollars in fines, we essentially must choose which poison pill to swallow. We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.
But now our faith is being challenged by the federal government. The Health and Human Services “preventative services” mandate forces businesses to provide the “morning-after” and the “week-after” pills in our health insurance plans. These abortion-causing drugs go against our faith, and our family is now being forced to choose between following the laws of the land that we love or maintaining the religious beliefs that have made our business successful and have supported our family and thousands of our employees and their families. We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.
Lori Windham, Senior Counsel of the Becket Fund, said:
Washington politicians cannot force families to abandon their faith just to earn a living. Every American, including family business owners like the Greens, should be free to live and do business according to their religious beliefs.
The Greens pay their employees well, give them generous benefits, and close the stores on Sundays. They are heavily involved in charities, giving time and money to many organizations.
The Federal Government contents that you lose your religious freedom when you start a business. And if your business is successful, like Hobby Lobby, you will be forced to pay millions per day for the right to live your faith.