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A View On High Court's Ruling, From A Hobby Lobby Grand Opening

Jun 30, 2014
Originally published on June 30, 2014 5:01 pm
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For more reaction to today's ruling, we go to suburban St. Louis, where there was a grand opening of a Hobby Lobby store today - the company's 605th. Rachel Lippmann of St. Louis Public Radio talked with customers there.

RACHEL LIPPMANN, BYLINE: The ceremony started the same way every Hobby Lobby grand opening does - with a prayer from a member of the company's in-house ministry. Today, it was Winston Hackett.

WINSTON HACKETT: We always, prior to cutting the ribbon, ask the Lord to bless our new stores. We live in a land of the free. We have the liberty and the right to do this.

LIPPMANN: Inside the store, shoppers can find decorations with crosses and Bible verses in various aisles. The new store already has aisles of Christmas goods on display.

RUTH CANTER: Going to spend a buck or two on something I don't need, I don't want, I don't like.

LIPPMANN: That's Ruth Canter. She made the trip to this new Hobby Lobby because of the Supreme Court ruling.

CANTER: I'm happy. It seems as though America is on the trail of coming back to be America. Women should have birth control. That's fine. But it's unelected people making the laws.

LIPPMANN: Canter's referring to former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who oversaw implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Ronald Robinson came into the store to look for cake decorating supplies. He also likes the ruling and plans to become a regular customer.

RONALD ROBINSON: The fact that they are a religious-based company feels good, also - like Chick-fil-A, same thing.

LIPPMANN: But shopper Joyce Reichert doesn't agree with the opinion.

JOYCE REICHERT: Because a person forms a corporation so that they are not personally responsible. Their opinion shouldn't go into what their employees get.

LIPPMANN: Emily Lamar agrees. She says the rights of female employees trump the religious beliefs of the company.

EMILY LAMAR: It's up to a person to choose what's medically appropriate for them. And contraception isn't just about preventing pregnancies. It's also about women's health. And I just don't think that it's their right to say, well, hey, we don't believe in this, so you can't access it.

LIPPMANN: Lamar isn't sure she'll shop at Hobby Lobby in the future. Joyce Reichert said, despite not liking the ruling, she loves the craft supply store and will remain a customer. For NPR News, I'm Rachel Lippmann in St. Louis. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.