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Atheists Decry Court’s Grant of Religious Rights to Corporations in Hobby Lobby

Cranford, NJ—American Atheists denounced the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Hobby Lobby on Monday that declared a closely-held corporation is a person with religious rights. Using the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Court ruled that owners of closely held corporations may opt out of the so-called “birth control mandate” of the Affordable Care Act. The mandate requires corporations that offer health insurance to employees, in exchange for tax benefits, to offer plans that  include birth control coverage at no cost to employees.

“This is a disgrace and an indignity to Americans’ right to be protected from the abuses of other people’s religions,” said American Atheists President David Silverman. “Shame on the Supreme Court, which has effectively told Americans that if you can come up with a religious excuse, you are above the law. This is an injustice of the highest order for separation of religion and government, for equality, and for the constitutional protections guaranteed to all Americans.”

“The Court has granted religious liberties to some corporations, claiming they have the same rights as citizens. What about the rights of the women, the workers? We fear the consequences of this decision on publicly traded corporations in the future,” said Managing Director Amanda Knief, a lawyer and public policy expert.

Click here to read the full ruling in PDF form.

AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that defends civil rights for atheists, freethinkers, and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of religion and government; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy. American Atheists was founded in 1963 by Madalyn Murray O’Hair.


American Atheists, Inc.

P.O. Box 158

Cranford, NJ 07016

Tel: (908) 276-7300

Fax: (908) 276-7402