The right wants to use religion as an excuse to legally discriminate against gays and unmarried women—and, ultimately, anyone who doesn’t share their Christian faith.
Ever since the Obama administration included contraception in the list of services that insurers must cover for clients without a copay, conservatives have been on the attack. As far as most right-wing media is concerned—and definitely as far as the average conservative on the ground is concerned—the problem with the mandate is that it supposedly forces others to “pay for” a woman’s “lifestyle” choice.
Even though the insurance policies in question actually belong to the women, who usually earned them as part of their compensation packages at work or who paid for directly with premiums, conservatives routinely portray women who use their own insurance to pay for their own medicine as layabouts forcing other people pay for their birth control. Some conservatives even go so far as to erroneously claim that taxpayers are footing the bill for insurance companies to cover contraception.
While stoking right-wing resentment over other people’s sex lives is a great way to sell the attacks on Obamacare to the masses, the real question is about whether employers have a right to discriminate if they claim to have religious reasons for doing so. Should employers be able to take away earned benefits from employees because they disapprove of the employee’s private decisions? Or does an employee’s right to religious liberty mean a boss can’t use compensation packages to try to force compliance with religious dictates?