OKLAHOMA CITY (CNS) — A federal judge in Oklahoma City July 19 granted a temporary injunction to the arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby, saying it would not have to comply with the federal health care law mandating that employers provide coverage of contraceptives in their health insurance plans.
U.S. District Court Judge Joe Heaton issued the preliminary injunction, and gave the federal government until Oct. 1 to consider an appeal. The Christian owners of Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby chain have specifically argued that providing emergency contraceptive coverage to their employees, as required by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, violates their religious freedom. The injunction comes several weeks after a federal appellate court ruled that Hobby Lobby can exercise religion under the First Amendment and is likely to win its case against the mandate.
“The tide has turned against the HHS mandate,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and lead attorney for Hobby Lobby, in a July 19 statement.