In September, the evangelical-owned Hobby Lobby and sister company Mardel Inc. filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama Administration over the mandate requiring employers to provide coverage for the morning-after pill and other contraceptives. Under the new mandate, companies who do not provide coverage for contraception can face fines of up to $1.3 million daily.
In his ruling, Judge Heaton said, "Plaintiffs have not cited, and the court has not found, any case concluding that secular, for-profit corporations such as Hobby Lobby and Mardel have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion".
Conversely, last week U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton granted a preliminary injunction for Tyndale Publishers, a Christian publishing company opposed to providing employees with contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act requirements. Meanwhile, the United Nations released a report declaring contraception a universal human right last week.
Media Resources: ABC News 11/20/12; Jezebel 11/19/12; Think Progress 11/19/12; Washington Post 11/19/12; Huffington Post 11/14/12; Feminist Newswire 9/13/12
4/17/2014 Supreme Court of India Recognizes Transgender Rights - India's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that official documents must allow transgender people to identify as a third gender and directed the federal and state governments to include transgender people, known as hijras, in welfare programs such as education, health care, and job programs.
"All documents will now have a third category marked 'transgender,'" said Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a transgender activist who petitioned the court. . . .