[adsense]A locally owned Oklahoma retail business is under heavy controversy today. After yesterday’s landmark 5-4 Supreme Court decision to allow ‘closely-held’ companies to dictate terms of an employee’s insurance based on religious beliefs, the Home and Garden Retail store immediately used the legal precedent to terminate the coverage of one of its employees.
“Personally, and we are not discriminating here, but his lifestyle just does not fit the Christian values that our company holds dear to itself. His homosexuality is actually offensive to religious beliefs, but the company cannot fire him for that. We can let him know that we will not condone his lifestyle by denying all his gay-related health insurance needs,” the company released in a statement.
The employee in question has asked to remain anonymous, but did agree to be interviewed.
“I was shocked, I went in today for a routine STI exam and check-up, as I do at the first of every month since I am romantically active in a semi-open relationship. When I went to check in with the secretary, she told me my health insurance had been terminated and my exam would not be covered. I cannot afford $350 dollars for an office visit, so I cancelled everything.”
The employee also reports he takes a specific medication for high cholesterol, and after checking with is pharmacy he learned that a 1-month supply costs over $1,230 and there is no generic version available. “I don’t know what I am supposed to do. Leave my love life and get health insurance, or take the risk of having a heart attack and spread disease to my partner. I cannot afford to quit my job either way.”
Owners of retail chain they understand their employee’s concern, but will not reinstate his health insurance until he agrees to stop being gay. “Simply put, we do not think our corporate dollars should have to go into providing healthcare to a gay man, because his lifestyle is a sin. Our money will help support him if he decides he wants a family or needs a supplement like Viagra to help create a family, or a vasectomy to limit the size of his family.”
Legal analysts have expressed concern that more cases like this will pop up nationwide, since there a precedent was set with the 6/30/2014 Supreme Court ruling.