About 40 reproductive rights supporters gathered for a protest today outside the Rhodes State Office Tower, which houses the office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. They chanted, "Keep your lobby out of my hobby!" and "Not my boss' business!"
DeWine has filed a brief arguing that the government should not force companies to provide contraceptive health coverage required by the Affordable Care Act if it violates their owners' religious beliefs. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Tuesday from attorneys representing the Southern Baptist owners of Hobby Lobby and the Mennonite owners of Conestoga Wood Specialties.
The protesters argued that employers should not have control over their workers' options for birth control. Hobby Lobby "thinks that because of their personal religious objection, that their whole company should be exempted from providing the benefit," said Celeste Ribbins of Planned Parenthood.
"Their personal religious belief should not be forced on the employees of their company," Ribbins said. "Their company is a craft store. It does not provide any religious activity."
Since Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood are for-profit organizations with no legal religious affiliation, they don't have a right to exercise religious freedoms, she said.