Catholic owned Company has Award Rescinded for Challenging Obama Health Law
by VALERIE RICHARDSON
August 20, 2012
The Newland family didn't spend 50 years building a business here for the plaudits, but when a Denver city councilwoman moved to recognize them with an anniversary proclamation, the clan was flattered.
So it came as a disappointment last week when the Newlands learned the council had decided to cancel the honor. Especially when they found out the reason: their successful legal challenge against the Obama health reform's birth control, sterilization and abortion mandates.
"When the ruling came down from Judge Kane's courtroom, we got a call from the councilwoman, who said that due to the controversial nature of what we were engaged in, it wasn't appropriate for her to honor us as she'd originally planned," said William Newland, who co-owns Hercules Industries with his three siblings.
District Judge John Kane granted the company's request for a temporary injunction July 27 against the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employers provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception, regardless of their religious beliefs.
Mr. Kane's order said the Obama administration's mandate "disregards religious conscience rights that are enshrined in federal statutory and constitutional law."
The Justice Department had argued that a for-profit business cannot lay claim to a religious belief.
The Newlands run Hercules Industries, which manufactures sheet-metal heating and cooling components, in line with their Catholic faith.
"The fact that the Newlands care about religious freedom shouldn't disqualify them from being recognized for what has been an incredible level of community support," said Matt Bowman, the Alliance Defending Freedom attorney representing Hercules Industries in the lawsuit.
The Newlands, who employ about 300 full-time workers, have also been active in local charities and restoration projects. At one point, they bought and restored a circa-1890 cotton mill in Denver, earning it a listing on the National Registrar of Historic Places.
"I was pretty excited about being recognized by the City Council, so it was pretty deflating," said Mr. Newland. "But our purpose, which is to fight for our religious freedoms, is a far greater cause than a proclamation we can hang on a wall. There's no contest there, as far as we're concerned."