“Ain’t I a Woman?”
An all-male majority on the U.S. Supreme Court has sanctioned insidious sex discrimination in the Hobby Lobby case.
In its decision, the majority states that a privately-held for-profit corporation does not have to follow federal regulations requiring employers to provide workers with an insurance plan that includes, among other things, no-cost contraceptives. The majority upheld Hobby Lobby‘s religious objection to paying for contraceptives. lodged under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. So Hobby Lobby does not have to provide no-cost contraceptives under its insurance plan.
Only women use the contraceptives at issue in the Hobby Lobby case.
Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion, refers to the issue of discrimination in the context of fears that an employer might lodge a religious objections involving race discrimination. For example, suppose a restaurant owner doesn’t want to serve blacks for religious reasons. Justice Alito writes:
“The principal dissent raises the possibility that discrimination in hiring, for example on the basis of race, might be cloaked as religious practice to escape legal sanction. Our decision today provides no such shield. The Government has a compelling interest in providing an equal opportunity to participate in the workforce without regard to race, and prohibitions on racial discrimination are precisely tailored to achieve that critical goal.”
Okay, so the Court makes it clear it will not countenance religious objections that are based on race discrimination. But why then has the Court approved religious objections that are based on sex discrimination?