Keep Calm and Mandate On
Catholic business owners claiming the contraception mandate violated their religious freedom may be celebrating too soon. On Friday a federal court in Colorado granted a Motion for Preliminary Injunction to Hercules Industries, Inc., a for-profit, secular employer engaged in the heating and air conditioning business, whose owners adhere to the Catholic faith. The injunction temporarily releases them from the requirement to provide contraception coverage in their health care plan. What's being hailed as a victory is no more than a ruling that enforcement of the mandate against Hercules Industries, Inc. will be put on hold until the trial.
How can this be seen as a win? It's a win for the secular movement against those attempting to redefine the Constitutional principles of the religious clauses, as the Judge declined to address the validity of claims based on violation of Free Exercise or Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment. The court also noted this injunction applies only to Hercules Industries, Inc., and not to any other party looking for a religious loophole. The Secular Coalition for America is hopeful that when this case goes to trial the court will place the religious freedom of individuals, the employees, before the discriminatory desires of a corporation.
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