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Pastor, Petitioners Decry Hobby Lobby Lawsuit Over Morning-After Pill Insurance Coverage Requirement

Posted Sep 27, 2012 2:10 PM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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An Oklahoma pastor Thursday attempted to deliver petitions criticizing a federal lawsuit brought by Hobby Lobby, KFOR-TV reports. The arts and crafts retailer, which owns more than 500 stores, recently filed a suit challenging the portion of the new health care law that requires employers to include morning-after pills in insurance coverage.

The Hobby Lobby’s action (PDF), filed Sept. 12 in the Western District of Oklahoma, argues that complying with the mandate violates its owners' “deeply held religious beliefs.”

The Rev. Lance Schmitz told KFOR-TV that more than 80,000 individuals signed petitions opposing the lawsuit. Petition signatures were gathered by two online communities—Faithful America, which describes its work as focused on ending poverty and countering hate speech, and UltraViolet, which concentrates on women's’ rights and ending sexism.

When the pastor tried to deliver the petitions to the Hobby Lobby’s Oklahoma City headquarters, Schultz told the KFOR-TV, he was ordered to leave the property. He intends to mail the documents instead. Individuals who signed the petition say they will boycott the Hobby Lobby unless it drops its lawsuit, KFOR-TV reports.

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