Hobby Lobby Protests Follow Court Ruling

Hobby Lobby stores across the U.S. have been the targets of protests since the Supreme Court ruling on June 30th granting the company a religious exemption from providing in their company health plan four types of contraception that were mandated as part of the Affordable Care Act.

According to a survey of national media reports, there have been Hobby Lobby protests at stores in the following locations since the ruling (and there is likely more that haven’t garnered online media coverage):

The amount of reported protesters has varied, ranging from a half-dozen people to as high as a hundred at some locations.

In Burbank, protesters disrupted the Grand Opening of the company’s new store location by handing out coupons and gift cards for competing stores in the area. Protesters also disrupted the Grand Opening of the Totowa, NJ store by chanting loudly throughout the ribbon cutting ceremony outside the store on Monday.

Protests aren’t just taking place outside the store – protesters are taking their dissatisfaction inside the store as well. The Washington Post is reporting that several women have taken to visiting the stores to rearrange alphabet letter products – and dropping condoms around the store – to send the company a message.

How long the protests will continue, and how many people will permanently boycott Hobby Lobby stores, remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure: at the very least, for the time being, Hobby Lobby’s Supreme Court victory has brought with it major hassles.

22 Responses to Hobby Lobby Protests Follow Court Ruling

  1. Julie July 11, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    I say, “hats off to Hobby Lobby for holding their ground”.

  2. Mandi Holmes July 11, 2014 at 10:26 pm #

    Love HL. I will continue to shop there.

  3. Tracey July 11, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

    So glad to hear that there is so much in-person protest activity to accompany the wave of outrage and call for boycotts online. I don’t approve of the in-store tampering with products and displays on a large scale, though. Except for the bit of viral social media attention, this mostly serves to make messes that the employees (the ones who were HURT by the SCOTUS ruling) have to clean up.

  4. mmlaurio July 11, 2014 at 11:18 pm #

    Hobby Lobby – just another hypocritical corporation where profits > prophets.

  5. djd July 12, 2014 at 12:09 am #

    It’s not a church, it’s a business and needs to follow the law. Hobby Lobby lost a customer and I am sooo happy my home state lead the protests! Such hypocrites too. HL invests in the companies that make the IUD.

  6. Terri Torrez July 12, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    I started boycotting when the lawsuit started. Glad to see that this is getting public attention.

  7. Jennifer Earley July 12, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    16 birth control meds isn’t enough for people? There are only 4 meds that HL doesn’t want to provide as they cause abortions. How disgraceful dropping condoms in the stores!

    • Nancy Nally July 12, 2014 at 10:55 am #

      The next day, the Supreme Court issued a 2nd ruling clarifying that the Hobby Lobby ruling applied to ALL forms of birth control for other companies that wished to dispute them. So the case isn’t actually just about four forms of birth control. Although Hobby Lobby will apparently only be applying it to allow them to not provide four methods that they believe are abortifacients (despite the medical community saying otherwise), other companies will be allowed to not offer birth control entirely based on the ruling.

      The Supreme Court tried to use the “just fill out a form and the government will provide contraception for your employees” as an out, but there is already several lawsuits ongoing from entities who say that filling out the form to allow their employees contraception coverage is a violation of their beliefs.

      And yes, I agree, doing anything inside the stores isn’t fair to the employees, who have been the victims in all of this. It just makes more work for them.

  8. Kim Russell July 12, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    I can’t understand why the companies are expected to provide contraception, shouldn’t this be the responsibility of the persons, not companies, then again I’m in Australia, different country different rules and I say good on the company for taking a stand

    • Nancy Nally July 12, 2014 at 11:01 am #

      Under U.S. Federal Law, companies with more than 50 employees are required to offer health coverage to their employees or pay a penalty to the government. The government has a basic set of minimum benefits established for what must be in the provided health plan, and that includes contraception coverage for 20 specific methods. Which is why Hobby Lobby was suing – they didn’t want to cover all 20.

  9. Karan Gerber July 12, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    “The petition is misleading. It makes it seem as if Hobby Lobby is seeking to exclude birth control from its health plan all together. That’s just not true. The Green family and Hobby Lobby do not have any religious objection to birth control per se. Their plans have covered preventive contraceptives and will continue to do so,” It is the morning after pill or “abortion” they are fighting against.

  10. Amanda July 12, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    Of course those who preach tolerance would be intolerant of someone who disagrees with them.

    I stand with Hobby Lobby. Defining abortion means we must define when life begins.

    • Shawn July 12, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

      I couldn’t agree with you more! I will continue to shop there and support them!

    • Nancy Nally July 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

      Actually, what the protesters are doing is just the same thing that the company itself did. The company said it refused to spend money on something it found offensive because it was way out of alignment with their values. The protesters are now calling for a boycott of the store, saying they refuse to spend their money on something they find offensive because it is way out of alignment with their values.

      It’s the American way, and it happens all the time in this country: the power of the dollar. There are plenty of company and store boycott lists constantly being circulated by both conservative and liberal advocacy groups.

    • Meagan Raines July 12, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

      It’s pretty simple to me to define it. Ask yourself when life begins. Whatever your answer then ask yourself if you can prove it. Of course you can’t, although in recent years it’s become very clear that life begins much earlier than the pro-choice people claim. Now, let’s assume that there is a God and you will be responsible for what you do in this life (I know, for those of you who don’t believe in God that’s a hard one for you, but let’s assume for a moment that the religious folks are right). That means that if they are right then some day every single person will have to stand before God and defend everything they thought, said, and did. God is against killing and there really is no defense except self-defense in an attack for killing. The day you stand before God you won’t be able to defend your position unless you take the safest stand now, which is that life begins at conception. If you take that stand and live by it, then you would not allow a baby in the womb to be destroyed for fear that you might be killing a person and have to account to God for it. Are you willing to risk being right when you’re not really sure and the penalty for being wrong will affect you for eternity? If hell exists, then it’s a place so terrible that no one can imagine it. And it lasts forever with no rest or relief from it. That’s the price you could pay for making the wrong decision. That’s enough for me to say I will err on the side of caution and stand up to protect life from conception. That’s exactly what the owners of Hobby Lobby have done.

  11. Sue July 12, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    Nancy, I applaud your following up on this story. But does the second ruling apply to all companies, or just religious organizations that are disputing them. I think the details are very important here, and over broad statements about “the medical community saying otherwise” or “other companies that wish to dispute them” can be misleading.

    I wonder how Michael’s feels about their name being used to diss a competitor. The tackiness of littering with condoms speaks for itself – so much for high minded debate.

    • Nancy Nally July 12, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

      The second ruling from the court was because the judges wished to clarify that the Hobby Lobby ruling allows companies who want to claim a religious exemption from the contraceptive mandate to claim exemption from providing all forms of birth control, not just the specific four that Hobby Lobby was challenging.

      ACOG, the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, defines standard medical practice for specialists in that area of medicine, and they filed a brief with the court stating that it was considered medical fact that the four disputed forms of birth control are not abortifacients. ACOG and its members are inarguably the “medical community” when it comes to birth control and women’s reproductive issues.

      Interesting question about what Michaels Companies thinks of all this controversy involving their competitor. They have not commented publicly that I am aware and likely won’t as there is no PR upside to doing so for them.

      It is definitely unfortunate that some protesters have chosen to make their point in ways that are less than constructive.

      • Tracey July 12, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

        Excellent points! It was amazing to me that SCOTUS overlooked the actual medical definition of an abortifacient in favor of the Greens’ belief that IUDS and Plan B cause abortions.

        I, too, am very curious about what other craft companies would have to say about this story, and I have been watching rather desperately for a company to come forward to say they support full comprehensive health care for their employees, because I would immediately reward a response like that with my business.

      • Kathleen Waters July 12, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

        Michaels is not owned by a single family with strong religious beliefs so it’s really a ridiculous question. However, Michaels is at least partly owned by Bain Capital, where Mitt Romney made his fortune. If they hold to Mormon beliefs, and I don’t think they do, but if they do then they would agree with the Greens. But the fact is that comparing the two companies is really a ridiculous comparison

        • Nancy Nally July 12, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

          You’re right Kathleen I don’t think anyone is expecting that Michaels would espouse a religious belief or take a position on contraception. But a lot of people are mentioning things in their protests about how they are taking their business to Michaels (like in the sign at the top of the article)…so I think it would be interesting to know what they think of being dragged into the protests against their competitor.

          As a public company now, they have to issue financial forecasts. It will be interesting to see if they have to change their forecast because of this and say why at their next SEC filing.

  12. fran g July 12, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    Thank you, Nancy. Facts matter, science matters.

  13. Mary Anne Perlmutter July 13, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    I have not shopped at Hobby Lobby since the first of the year. I do not agree with their policies.