On Dec. 20, an appeals court denied the plaintiffs' request for a temporary injunction to block the federal contraception mandate from being enforced against them while their case moves forward in the court.
The mandate requires employers to offer health insurance covering sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause early abortions. As Christians, the Greens are morally opposed to funding any type of abortion, including those caused by "morning after" and "week after" pills.
In its decision, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that the mandate did not impose a "substantial burden" on the Greens' religious freedom because it only forces them to fund "someone else's participation" in an activity that their religion condemns.
Started in a garage in Oklahoma City in 1972, Hobby Lobby now has more than 500 stores in 41 states. Its owners, the Greens, have said that they seek to serve God through all of their endeavors, including their business decisions.
The company donates considerable amounts to charity, maintains a minimum wage that is much higher than the federal requirement and closes all of its stores on Sundays, sacrificing profit to allow its employees to rest and worship with their families.
A lower court ruled last month that as a "secular, for-profit" corporation, Hobby Lobby does not have a constitutional right to freedom of religion, even if its owners see its management as part of their call to Christian stewardship.