David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, the arts-and-crafts chain at the center of the Supreme Court case granting employers the right to deny insurance coverage for contraception, has endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for president.
“Marco Rubio has impressed us with his preparation and the way he carries himself. But most importantly, Marco regularly exhibits humility and gives the glory to God,” Green said in a statement Sunday announcing his endorsement. “I will be voting for Marco Rubio on Tuesday and I encourage my fellow Oklahomans to do the same.”
Green’s endorsement comes after Hobby Lobby in September made a $10,000 donation to Conservative Solutions PAC, a super PAC supporting Rubio.
The Supreme Court in 2014 ruled in favor of Green’s claim that, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), the multi-billion dollar company could deny staff insurance coverage of certain types of contraceptives.
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Rubio had signed an amicus curiae brief in the Hobby Lobby case in support of the chain.
The senator has been a vocal supporter of so-called religious liberty and RFRA legislation. He introduced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012 and co-sponsored the Religious Freedom Protection Act of 2012 with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). Neither was passed into law.
“The bill would take away the right of millions of women to have any insurance coverage for contraception, based on an employer or health plan’s religious or moral beliefs—whether affiliated or not with any religious entity,” the National Women’s Law Center argued at the time of the Manchin-Rubio measure, which would have prohibited “any guideline, regulation or other requirement” under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from requiring companies to “offer, provide, or purchase health insurance coverage for” contraception or sterilization.
Rubio went on to co-sponsor a 2014 measure proposed by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), which would have given employers claiming objections to contraception the right to opt out of the ACA’s birth control benefit. The measure eventually died in the Senate.
Despite Rubio’s affinity for RFRA-related measures, the Florida senator has taken a notably different stance on some of the same forms of contraception Hobby Lobby opposed in its case. Rubio in September 2015 supported emergency contraception in an interview with The Skimm in which he argued that it could be used to help prevent abortions in cases or rape or incest.
“When confronted with two competing rights, the right to live and the right to choose, I’m forced to make a choice. And I’m gonna choose the side of life … in the cases [of rape or incest], they’re terrible tragedies, they’re horrifying,” Rubio said at the time. “And luckily in the 21st century, we have treatments available early on after an incident that can prevent that fertilization from happening. And that’s why I support the morning after pill being available over the counter and I certainly support them being made available immediately for rape victims.”