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Appeals Ruling Against HHS Mandate a Partial Win for Religious Freedom, Time for Congress to Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today the D.C. Circuit Court ruled in favor of the Gilardi brothers who own Freshway Foods and Freshway Logistics, an Ohio-based company, in its lawsuit against the Obama administration's abortifacient and contraceptive mandate. Unfortunately, they did not overturn the lower court ruling against the company itself.
Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins made the following comments in response to the ruling in Gilardi vs. HHS:
"We are very pleased that the court ruled that the Religious Freedom Protection Act protects the Gilardi brothers from being forced to violate their religious beliefs as demanded by President Obama's HHS mandate. However, we disagree with the ruling that Freshway Foods is not equally impacted by this mandate that is hostile to religious freedom.
"Family-owned businesses across the country face thousands of dollars in fines - or even millions in some cases - if they ignore the president's decree. For the first time in history, the government would become a vehicle for punishing business owners who simply seek to live their lives in the marketplace according to the fundamental teachings of their Christian faith.
"Unfortunately, the Obama administration has either an extremely narrow view of the First Amendment or an outright hostility toward those of orthodox faith who simply want to fully live out their faith. In either case the Obama administration fails to see how their mandate impacts everyday life for millions of Americans.
"Since HHS and the Obama administration are unwilling to protect religious liberty despite numerous court decisions against their violations, this underscores once again that Congress must act to preserve the constitutional right of religious freedom. Until that happens, institutions and businesses will be forced to choose between massive fines or violating their deeply-held religious beliefs. This unprecedented trampling of religious freedom must be put to an end," concluded Perkins.