This morning, SCOTUS changed my fucking life. And yours. Oh, you don’t think Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius affects you? Think again.
Hobby Lobby and Mardel Christian Bookstores are owned by the Green family. The owner, David Green, is a fucking billionaire, and his family own most of the company shares and are on the board. They are… what do you call… control freaks? Yes, control freaks. And this morning, the Supreme Court told these control freaks that they can DENY medications and services to women all because they are called “birth control” because the Green family is super fucking religious. If the medication was called “crotch candy,” maybe we wouldn’t be in this position. What position is that? Vulnerable as fuck.
I know what you are thinking… But Brooke, I don’t use birth control! Okay, cool, but you know what you do use? Freedom! The Court ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) applies to closely held corporations. RFRA is a statute designed to protect religious freedom of individuals from persecution, NOT corporations. But the Court is treating Hobby Lobby like a separate entity by saying that because the Greens have a closely held (albeit anciently ridiculous and out of step) religious belief, that they can impose it on their employees. This dissolves a crucial line between individual and corporation.
So what is a “closely held religious belief” anyway? The Court said that RFRA cannot be used as a guise to hide discrimination. But why the fuck not? Sexual orientation and gender identity are not protected classes under federal anti-discrimination legislation, and Hobby Lobby opens the crucifix laden door that could lead to companies denying HIV+ employees medication coverage because they believe AIDS doesn’t exist. And while that belief doesn’t target gay people… it definitely affects us more proportionately than say, dolphins. What about single mothers? What if a corporate owner believes that his religion forbids procreation outside of marriage? Could single mothers be fired? What if the corporate owner strongly believes that brunette comedians named Brooke are the devil? I could be OUT of a job!
The decision of the court is extremely narrow and perhaps will not totally destroy the rights of us all. But for female employees working at Hobby Lobby who depend on certain medication and services, this decision is devastating. Quitting a job and finding a new one just so you can afford medication that you PAY FOR through your medical insurance is not as easy as it sounds. And with this decision from the Court, we really have nowhere to go but down deeper into denying basic rights to those who need protection the most.
My solution? Require a prescription for condoms. Then let’s see how quickly “birth control” products are made accessible for all.