The slippery slope here is long and steep. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby, the ramifications are enormous. Religion, after all, does not merely include mainstream Methodists, Roman Catholics and Presbyterians, but countless small and outlandish “religions” on the fringes of society. Some of these “religions” have beliefs and practices that border on the bizarre and disturbing. If Hobby Lobby is accorded these exemptions, there will be no end to the attempts to “protect” these more radical beliefs and practices, all in the name of religious freedom.
Most disturbing of all to those of us in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community is the threat of our hard-won civil rights being abridged and denied, all in the name of religious belief. Don’t get me wrong; while I don’t agree with religious condemnation of homosexuality, I would die in the ditch for protecting churches, synagogues, mosques and other truly religious entities from having to ordain or marry LGBT people, based on their religion. But how long will it take for religiously-sponsored homeless shelters to reject homosexual clients? Will doctors be free, based on their personal religious beliefs, to deny medical services to gay patients? Will hospitals run or owned by religious institutions be free to deny health services to those who are LGBT—or for that matter, to cohabiting-but-unmarried heterosexuals?