What Does Hobby Lobby Ruling Mean for Arlene’s Flowers?
It's an interesting, and related question.
The Family Policy Institute of Washington is a faith-based group dedicated to defending socially and politically what could be considered traditional American values concerning marriage, family and other issues.
The Institute this week issued an informative article asking if the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby could be applied to Arlene's Flowers.
To make it simple, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act was violated by Obamacare. It "burdened religious freedom without a compelling reason to do so." In other words, there was no justifiable reason to force Hobby Lobby to pay for certain birth control programs that went against their religious beliefs - namely, forcing the company to offer birth control that would cover abortion.
Many are now wondering if the RFRA also covers Arlene's Flowers, for their choosing to not offer client services for a same-sex wedding, which also goes against their religous beliefs.
However, while many think it should, precedence doesn't appear so. In a previous case, Boerne vs. Flores, the court said the act could not be applied to states, because it's a federal statute. Hobby Lobby, being a national company in many states, fits that criteria.
Washington state could have adopted a similar state law to the RFRA, which would have protected Arlene's. But such legislation has been met with stiff opposition by special interest groups, and has even drawn a cold response from Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
So while the Hobby Lobby ruling was an important step towards dealing with (and perhaps) the beginning of the dismantling of Obamacare, it doesn't appear the RFRA will be also to help Arlene's.