Hobby Lobby denies closure rumors as case heads to Supreme Court - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Hobby Lobby denies closure rumors as case heads to Supreme Court


After the implementation of the Affordable Care Act rumors surfaced that Hobby Lobby would be forced to close their stores, including the one right here in Lubbock.

The main reason was because of what is referred to as the birth control mandate, which requires health insurance providers or employers to cover some contraceptive costs in their health insurance plans.

Hobby Lobby refused, saying it went against their religious beliefs.

This led to closure rumors, disappointing many regular shoppers.

"I'd be really, really sad because I spend a lot of money here," said Lubbock resident Stephanie Stewart.

"I think that would be really difficult for us to move on because this is the preferred store," said Snyder resident Miranda Tello. "A lot of the kids from our college travel to Lubbock just to come here so that would be very difficult for us to find another way to get our art supplies."

But the store says they are not closing.

"Hobby Lobby has no plans to close any of its stores," they told us in a written statement. "The U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with the Green family, and now the case is in the hands of the Supreme Court. Hobby Lobby is hopeful that there will be a favorable decision and allow the company and the Green family to live out their deeply held religious convictions."

That court case, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc, is expected to be heard by the Supreme Court in June.

Hobby Lobby's main argument is that the birth control mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a 1993 law aimed at preventing laws that "substantially burden a person's free exercise of their religion."

The law itself states:

"Government shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability…."

"A person whose religious exercise has been substantially burdened…may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government."

That's why the organization has taken their fight to the Supreme Court and most of their shoppers in Lubbock stand behind them.

"If they don't want to pay for contraceptives and things like that for their employees then that's their business," said Lubbock resident Linda Hardwicke. "I don't believe it's a big issue."

"On religious grounds I would agree but since it's a private corporation I don't think it really applies," said Wolforth resident Karl Nimtz.

"I do think they're right," said Stephanie Stewart. "If they're a private company then I think that they should have that ability to make that decision based on their religious beliefs. I heard someone say, ‘you wouldn't make a kosher butcher comply with rules that broke their beliefs."

When asked how they thought the Supreme Court Justices would vote on the case many people said it would be a tossup.

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