Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Broader Scope: Hobby Lobby's Potential Impact in PA

Tom Joseph, Public News Service-PA

HARRISBURG, Pa. - As the dust clears from this week's Supreme Court decision letting companies use religious objections to avoid paying for contraceptive coverage, what remains unclear is how that ruling will play out in Pennsylvania.

Concerns are being raised over the impact Tuesday's ruling could have on issues ranging from gay rights to vaccinations in the workplace. John Neurohr, communications director with the group Keystone Progress, says it puts Pennsylvania workers in an especially fragile position.

"They will now all be subject to the personal religious beliefs of their employers when it comes to health insurance and other benefits," says Neurohr, "and that's just not the kind of country we want to live in."

Neurohr adds the decision is an example of putting politics where it doesn't belong.

"Because of how weak the logic is of this particular opinion, I think there's no doubt now that even the Supreme Court has been hyper-politicized," says Neurohr. "I think that's really unfortunate."

Supporters of the decision call it a victory for the religious freedom of people of all faiths. Neurohr disagrees, noting religious freedom also includes a person's right not to have religion imposed on them by others.

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