July 15, 2014

Hobby Lobby Ruling: Does it Affect the LGBT Community?



               
Late last month, the Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby didn’t have to cover birth control in their insurance plans for their female employees. Hobby Lobby’s insurance plans still cover Viagra and vasectomies. We may think that this doesn’t affect the LGBT community, but it has a direct impact with the female bisexual community, and could potentially lead to bigger law changes that affect the gay community. The Hobby Lobby case serves as a precedent for any religiously-headed company or school that wishes to deny its female employees’ or students’ birth control or Plan B in their insurance plans. This ruling could lead to discrimination in hiring LGBT employees because it is against the owner’s religious beliefs.
Less than 24 hours after the Supreme Court issued their ruling, a group of religious organizations sent a letter to President Obama asking to be exempt from a forthcoming executive order that would prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people. The floodgates are open, and now it’s a mad race to discriminate toward anyone while the ruling is still fresh.  
It is unpleasant to see that religion, and a company is seen as people higher on the totem pole than women, and that the LGBT community as a whole is being seen as even less than that. One thing crossed my mind while researching for this article: birth control is the first to be nixed, but the next insurance casualty could be hormone therapy and reconstructive surgeries for the trans* community. If companies began denying coverage of hormone therapy, they’d be denying the trans* community the basic human right to be themselves. In the last year our country has taken many steps to make everything for everyone seem more equal, and now it seems that we are backtracking. Women were the first to earn their rights, and then movements started for everyone else. Now the government is helping corporations take away the right to have birth control through insurance that we pay for.
Health insurance has covered birth control for quite a while, so why is it suddenly an issue? It’s another form of a big corporation, and the government telling us what we can do to our bodies because of religion. There is such a thing as religious freedom, but there should also be a separation of church and state. More importantly, people should have say over anything before a corporation, and women should be the ones to vote on matters pertaining to things such as birth control. Where I come from, and how I grew up, I learned it’s frowned upon to impose your religious beliefs onto other people, especially through law.
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