Gorsuch Must Answer Key Questions on Corporate Religious Freedom

Media Contact:

Faith in America Encourages Senators to Explore Faith & Corporate Discrimination in Hearings

Hickory, NC—As Senators prepare questions to better understand Neil Gorsuch’s legal views, Faith in America is asking them to make sure to fully explore the potential ramifications of his Hobby Lobby decisions to the rights of LGBT individuals.  Judge Gorsuch attends a strongly LGBT-affirming church, but his Hobby Lobby decision opens the door for extreme corporate discrimination which he needs to clarify in upcoming hearings.  

“Religion has been a force for much good in society, but it has also been used as a justification for actions of condemnation and exclusion that have caused great harm to different minority groups in the past and to LGBT youth in America today,” said Mitchell Gold, Co-Chair of Faith in America.  “Judge Gorsuch laudably attends an affirming church, but his Hobby Lobby decision raises dangerous questions he needs to address about how corporations might use faith as a shield for significant harm and discrimination.”

Faith in America has published a list of questions for Senators to probe how Judge Gorsuch would apply his legal theories on Hobby Lobby in the context of discrimination against groups and individuals, and whether corporations should be held to a higher standard in how they can apply their “faith,” given the greater influence they exert over the lives of employees and customers. 

LGBT kids from religiously condemning households are 8 times more likely to commit suicide and make up nearly half of America’s homeless teen population.  Faith in America’s mission is to equip LGBT advocates and directly engage with religious leaders and congregations to confront and address this crisis, building from the shared belief that no child should ever be made to feel they are better off dead or on the streets than with their families at home. 

Faith in America Questions:

“Under your interpretation of the Constitution, would the religious freedom protections granted to corporations under Hobby Lobby allow them to deny service or employment to customers based on their faith, gender, or sexual orientation?  Could McDonalds claim its ‘faith’ prevented it from serving burgers to gay people, Wells Fargo use religious freedom as a justification for not placing women in leadership roles, or Mayo Clinic claim treating Muslims violates its faith?”

“Given the greater influence and power corporations hold in society and over the lives of American citizens they employ, should they be held to a higher standard before claiming religious freedom protections from laws?”

“How should the courts balance the rights of individuals who can be directly harmed by a corporation’s exercise of religious freedom and the rights you believe corporations have to not follow laws or recognize the rights of others if doing so violates their “faith?”  When it comes to a choice between an individual worker or customer’s rights and a corporation’s, what rules would you apply to deciding which should prevail?”