I am writing as your constituent to urge you to take action in the wake of the Supreme Court’s unprecedented decision in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Please take action to repeal the misguided Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which has been used to decide that a corporation trumps the civil and reproductive rights of female (not male) workers to choose their own form of contraception.
I’m dismayed and disturbed by the implications of this decision, which puts the personal religious views of certain corporate executives above the rights of tens of thousands of employees. These employees are not in a position to lobby or to defend themselves against corporate interference in their personal lives.
Corporations are not human beings and a corporation cannot practice religion. Yet the Supreme Court has ruled that the access to contraceptive coverage granted by the Affordable Care Act creates a significant burden on a corporation’s free exercise of religion. Since by definition a corporation cannot have a religion, the decision is completely divorced from reality.
The main justification for this harmful decision is the Supreme Court’s holding that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) protects Hobby Lobby from the generally applicable rules of the Affordable Care Act. Regardless of Congress’s original intent, RFRA has become an untenable law. It carves out vast exceptions to neutral laws that only certain religious sects can claim. In the corporate context, this provides an unfair competitive advantage to any corporation willing to claim that it has a religious objection to a regulation.
Furthermore, employers should not have a right to deny fundamental rights to employees in the name of “religious liberty.” They should not be permitted by operation of law to forcibly impose their own religious practices on their employees.
This affects all of us, regardless of religious persuasion. If one religious sect is allowed to run roughshod over adherents of another (and over those who do not practice religion at all), we will no longer have a secular government.
Please introduce or sign onto a bill to repeal RFRA immediately.
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