The Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Case: How One Case Could Change Everything

Rabbi (to be) Ari Naveh

recently shared how he balances the line between being a gay rabbi—and

a rabbi who is gay

. Here he takes his learning, as well as his years of work with the


, and puts it in practice, examining why the LGBT and Jewish community should be paying attention to two Supreme Court cases.

An arts & crafts supply chain from Oklahoma is paving the way for legalized discrimination. Think I’m being dramatic? I assure you, I’m not.

A few months ago, the Supreme Court decided to hear two cases: 
Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores 
and Conestoga Wagon Specialties v. Sebelius. Both of these cases challenge the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that businesses must include contraception in their healthcare plans. In both cases, the owners of the two corporations claim that the contraception mandate violates their first amendment right of freedom to exercise their religion. These owners claim that the religious rights of their corporations are being infringed upon—in other words, since the owners of Hobby Lobby are Christian, Hobby Lobby itself is Christian as well. If the idea of a non-sentient corporation having its own religious beliefs sounds a bit strange to you, that’s because it is.

Four years ago, in an unfortunate landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that corporations should be granted full permission to exercise their first amendment right to free speech in the context of direct donations to all manner of political campaigns. Put simply, the Court stated that corporations are people. The repercussions of this case on the already fraught status of monetary influence on political campaigns were, in a word, ginormous. But we are not here to discuss the unnervingly complicated issues of campaign finance law; I’ll save that for another blog post that you can read when you’ve got hopeless insomnia and that Ambien just isn’t working for you.

Ari marches for equality.

Ari on the steps of the Supreme Court, marching for equality.