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Missouri Man Is First Private Business Owner to Sue HHS Over Contraception Mandate

(CNSNews.com) - A conservative civil rights group has filed a first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services on behalf of a Missouri business owner who says the HHS contraceptive mandate violates his constitutionally-protected religious beliefs.





The lawsuit, filed by the American Center for Law and Justice, requests a permanent injunction prohibiting the HHS from requiring those who have religious objections to abide by the mandate, which requires employers to purchase health insurance for their employees that includes coverage for contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs.



The lawsuit marks the first legal challenge to the HHS mandate from a private business owner and his company. Until now, only religious organizations or institutions have brought lawsuits challenging the mandate.



Frank R. O'Brien, a Catholic, is the chairman of St.-Louis-based O'Brien Industrial Holdings, LLC, which operates a number of businesses that explore, mine, and process refractory and ceramic raw materials.



O'Brien says his religious beliefs provide the framework for the operation of his businesses, which employ 87 people. The company website states the OIH mission "is to make our labor a pleasing offering to the Lord while enriching our families and society."



A statement of the company's values begins with the following: "Integrity. Our conduct is guided by the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments. We will not discriminate based on anyone's personal belief system."



"The HHS mandate would require business people like our client to leave their religious beliefs at home every day as a condition of doing business in our society," said ACLJ's Francis J. Manion, who is representing O'Brien. "The HHS mandate tells people like Frank O'Brien that they have to choose between conducting their business in a manner consistent with their moral values, or conducting their business in a manner consistent with the government's values. The constitution does not allow the government to impose such a choice."

The lawsuit contends that the HHS mandate "imposes a substantial burden on Plaintiffs' free exercise of religion by coercing Plaintiffs to choose between conducting their business in accordance with their religious beliefs or paying substantial penalties to the government."
Manion rejects criticism that opposition to the mandate somehow prohibits others from obtaining the insurance coverage that suits them:
"O'Brien and other people of faith aren't looking to stand in the way of anybody's access to anything," said Manion. "They just don't want the government forcing them to pay for services that go against their sincerely-held beliefs."



Manion noted that the State of Missouri has its own 'contraceptives mandate,' but it allows exemptions for those with religious objectios: "There is no good reason why the federal government couldn't -- and shouldn't - do the same. The Constitution, in fact, demands nothing less," Manion said.



The lawsuit, posted here, asks the court to declare that the HHS mandate violates the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.



The lawsuit names as defendants, the Department of Health and Human Services and Secretary Sebelius; the Department of the Treasury and Secretary Geithner; and the Department of Labor and Secretary Solis.

 
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Added: Mar-16-2012 Occurred On: Mar-16-2012
By: Flip500
In:
Politics
Tags: ObamaCare
Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States (load item map)
Views: 2702 | Comments: 44 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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  • Statement A

    "A statement of the company's values begins with the following: "Integrity. Our conduct is guided by the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments. We will not discriminate based on anyone's personal belief system."

    Statement B

    "The HHS mandate would require business people like our client to leave their religious beliefs at home every day as a condition of doing business in our society,"

    So they will not discriminate anyone belief system there.....as long as More..

    Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • @Itchy999
      You are not required to work there. No one is forcing anything on you or anybody else. Don't like the owner's business philosophy? Go work somewhere else.

      Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • @copperdog3 It's discrimination based on someones personal beliefs.... Companies should not be allowed to operate in such a manner in a country that claims to promote freedom. What happens if every workplace did that, what if they decide to stop hiring people not from their specific religion?

      Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • @Itchy999
      It is not discrimination unless you are compelled against your will. Get this now: YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO WORK THERE. That is freedom. The government telling companies and individuals what they will or will not do is tyranny. Please, get an education before you start typing. Its a massive waste of electrons just reading comments like this.

      Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • @copperdog3 Instead of trying to look smart with your remark at the end why not answer my question rather than regurgitate what you said before. What if every company decided to stop hiring people that are not from a specific religion........what would happen if some christian run business began to run a towns economy and would not hire anyone it knows is not a true Christian leaving many in that town homeless as in brings in workers itself from another town. What about then? Any remark like was More..

      Posted Mar-17-2012 By 

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    • @Itchy999
      "What if every company decided to stop hiring people that are not from a specific religion..."

      I'm struggling to envision how that might work. Its ridiculous. The market would never let that happen. As soon as the "Christian" companies reached critical mass, another company will come in and tap the market being shunned by the Christian companies. Barring that, no one is forced to live in that town or work for those companies.

      That's the difference in a privat More..

      Posted Mar-17-2012 By 

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  • Comment of user 'fido321' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • When islamic business owners start complaining that it's a violation of their religious beliefs when being forced to pay interest on loans, I wonder if the same "conservative civil rights groups" will have their backs?

    Somehow I don't think they'll be as keen to carry that tune.

    If religious zealots can't abide by the same rules as other business owners, maybe they shouldn't be in business to begin with. Just stay home and pray for money, and good luck with that.

    Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • @VitriolKOF
      No one will be forcing the mythical muslim to take the loan if they don't want to. If the big O were dictating that all businesses must take a loan, you might have a point. As it is, you just don't like conservatives.

      Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • @VitriolKOF Well, if we had Sharia law here then they could claim that.

      Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • @copperdog3

      I'll allow that I don't like conservatives, at least the ones who currently self-profess that dubious honor. All too often it's used as a smokescreen to scam people into voting against their own interests.

      But rest assured it has nothing to do with political party- I don't like either of the Big Two here in the states.

      So... muslims (excluding those lucky few who are already filthy rich, I suppose) should be forced to choose between applying for a necessary loan or not going into More..

      Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • @sgtloverlips

      Our laws aren't strapped to catholic dogma, either, but that isn't stopping the catholics from demanding their own exclusionary clauses. Why shouldn't other cults write their own loopholes, too?

      Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • @VitriolKOF
      I am a conservative. To be specific, a card-carrying southern redneck conservative. Basically, your worst nightmare.

      But nevermind that.

      You clearly demonstrate that you are a flaming liberal when you suggest that muslims cannot get a business loan. You show yourself to be a basement-dwelling twit with no business experience beyond flipping burgers. Business loans require two willing participants. If the "muslim" objects to the lender's politics and religion, DON'T More..

      Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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  • Therefore, i religiously reject paying taxes! (i wish!)

    its about choice, keep religion beliefs at home and at church.

    should NOT be included in a business decision.

    Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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  • Contraception has nothing to do with your employer so why the fuck should they be paying for it?

    Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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  • so Flip500, do you also support a muslim business owner suing on the grounds of paying taxes that go to food stamps that buy pork? fair is fair.

    Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • @circularlife
      I would like to see that lawsuit. Seriously. Wonder what the supremes would do with it?

      Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'Amusing' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Another religious nutcase. Can't keep his grubby little fingers off women's rights. Just like Muslims.

    Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • @NoGodButAlan - Women have the rights to buy contraceptives. He is not taking away their rights. He just does not want to pay for the contraceptives. Some contraceptive medication is used for medical ailments. At this point they are no longer contraceptives, they are hormones.

      Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • @KingVolcano That Missouri Man is talking about his religious beliefs. My point stands.

      Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • @NoGodButAlan Where do women derive the right to make other people pay for their condoms? Is it a Constitutional right or a natural right?
      What about homosexuals and the elderly and those who want children? They're crazy religious nuts because they don't want to be forced to pay for someones birth control?

      Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • @lonewolf6972 In Britain, we give condoms away. We figure a condom is cheaper than an abortion, or an orphan. And it promotes safer sex, keeps the population healthier. You obviously don't care about any of that. As I said earlier, it's about the Missouri Man's beliefs. And my point still stands. No talk of a few cents for a condom is going to take away from that fact.

      Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • @NoGodButAlan You believe that it's the right of atheists to impose their beliefs on everyone else through force. This man isn't forcing his beliefs on anyone. He just wants to be left alone to do business in a manner consistent with his beliefs with those who freely want to do business with him.

      Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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  • Everyone's religious and non-religius beliefs need to be thrown into the lawsuit here. This business owner states he's filing this lawsuit because "the HHS contraceptive mandate violates his constitutionally-protected religious beliefs." Are his religious beliefs the only religious or non-religious beliefs being violated here? Is he violating the constitutional rights of people who will now be refused health coverage for contraceptive, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs? That's More..

    Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'fido321' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • @seangail
      Been a while since I was in school but I don't recall any language whatsoever in the Constitution about health insurance and rubbers. Insurance is a benefit of employment. Not a requirement. The employees are free to work anywhere they want. Thanks to the big O and the HHS, the business owner has no such leeway.

      Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • @copperdog3 There was no mention or suggestion by me of health insurance and "rubbers" being in the Constitution. That's not what we're even talking of here. This man "thinks" the HHS mandate may violate his constitutionally protected religious beliefs. He's not suing. It's interesting that it is a "conservative" civil rights group that is filing a lawsuit. The ACLJ is shady at best and has been under the watchful eye of the IRS for a while now. They call themselve More..

      Posted Mar-17-2012 By 

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  • From the article:
    "A statement of the company's values begins with the following: "Integrity. Our conduct is guided by the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments. We WILL NOT DISCRIMINATE based on anyone's personal belief system."

    Yet he is claiming it IS HIS RIGHT to discriminate by not providing contraceptive coverage. How inane is that?!

    Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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    • Comment of user 'Amusing' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • I shudda been a lawyer.

    Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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  • This will come down to a war between a self righteous religious business owner and a self righteous "own your ass" government.

    Should be interesting to see who wins.

    Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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  • Everyone should just stop bitching and buy whatever it is your goddamn government crooks pass a law for you to buy from them.
    Buy what we tell you to, or be fined, or jailed, or just f_cking die.

    Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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  • It's good to see people stand against tyranny.

    Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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  • Most Americans don't understand that many hormonal forms of birth control (the pill) are in fact abortifacients. They do not keep an egg from being fertilized, instead they keep a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterine wall. Since many American's believe life to be sacred and also believe life begins at the beginning, i.e. inception, it is morally unacceptable to be forced to pay for the wholesale distribution of abortifacients.

    Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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  • CNS News.....lol
    Anyone that believes ANYTHING from that hack site is a moron......lol

    Posted Mar-16-2012 By 

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