Mother Jones report: Hobby Lobby retirement fund invests millions in contraceptive manufacturers

HobbyLobby.2

Debate continues to rage over the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Burwell  v. Hobby Lobby, issued Monday. But Mother Jones uncovered some interesting information that makes the “closely held” company’s hypocrisy months ago.

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Monday  says that for-profit businesses in which at least 50 percent of stock is held by five or fewer people, such as family-owned businesses, are exempt from requirements in the Affordable Health Care Act that they cover certain kinds of contraception for their female employees in their health benefits packages. The owners of Hobby Lobby, David Green and family, claimed that having to cover such contraceptives for female Hobby Lobby employees violated their personal religions beliefs against abortion.

But as Mother Jones points out in its article, posted online back in April:

“Documents filed with the Department of Labor and dated December 2012 — three months after the company’s owners filed their lawsuit — show that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k).

“Several of the mutual funds in Hobby Lobby’s retirement plan have stock holdings in companies that manufacture the specific drugs and devices that the Green family, which owns Hobby Lobby, is fighting to keep out of Hobby Lobby’s health care policies: the emergency contraceptive pills Plan B and Ella, and copper and hormonal intrauterine devices.”

—  Tammye Nash

WATCH: Which one of Rick Perry’s anti-gay co-chairs in Florida is a bigger nutjob?

Pam Olsen

The other day we told you how John Stemberger, co-chair of Rick Perry’s leadership team for this week’s GOP presidential straw poll in Florida, once compared same-sex marriage to suicide (prompting one of our Twitter followers to quip, “It certainly has been for my sex life!”) But all joking aside, it turns out Perry’s other co-chair in Florida, though not as well known, appears to be just as crazy. Right Wing Watch reports that Pam Olsen heads the Tallahassee branch of the International House of Prayer, which helped put together Perry’s day of prayer in Houston in August . In July, Olsen said denominations that have allowed same-sex marriage and gay clergy are likely to blame for recent natural disasters:

“If anybody looks at the news and has just seen what’s been happening recently with the floods, the fires, the tornadoes, God is shaking. Yeah I think you have God shaking, sure you have the Enemy shaking, you have both and I don’t want to say oh that’s the judgment of God or that’s the Enemy. But the reality is God is judging us, and I think it’s going to get worse.”

As Mother Jones points out, it’s unclear why God would punish Texas with wildfires given Perry’s extreme anti-gay views.

Watch video of Olsen’s remarks below.

—  John Wright

Check out this butt sex travel reference guide

Following up on the magazine’s insightful story about efforts to remove Texas’ “homosexual conduct” law from the books, Mother Jones put together this handy-dandy map that can easily be printed out and used as a reference source as you travel around the country.

It turns out that a total of 14 states still have sodomy statutes on the books, despite the fact that these laws can’t be enforced because they were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas:

Since Lawrence, efforts to formally repeal laws in Montana, Kansas, Utah, Louisiana, North Carolina, and, most notably, Texas have all faced resistance before fizzling out in their respective state legislatures. Conservatives in those states know they can’t enforce the laws, but by keeping them in the code, they can send a message that homosexuality is officially condemned by the government.

As you can see, most of the 14 states with statutes still on the books — 10 to be exact — ban sodomy regardless of whether it’s homosexual or heterosexual. In other words, before Lawrence, butt sex was illegal in these states for mom and dad, too!

Texas, meanwhile, is one of only four states where sodomy is illegal — or was illegal — only for gay people. The others are Oklahoma, Kansas and Montana. Which is strange because if there’s any place where cornholeing should be legal, if not encouraged, it’s Kansas.

—  John Wright

Mother Jones on the Rainbow Lounge raid

Mother Jones magazine has weighed in on the Rainbow Lounge raid, and it ain’t pretty. In a piece posted on the magazine’s Web site this morning, MJ‘s Adam Weinstein (a former Dallas resident) takes a look at how law enforcement officers in Texas allegedly use the state’s public intoxication statute, which Weinstein calls the broadest in the nation, to harass gays and other minorities. Here’s a snippet from Weinstein’s blog post promoting the piece, “Lone Bar State”:

The Lone Star State, it turns out, is still a place where “undesirables” can be rounded up, humiliated by authorities, tossed in jail cells, and even have their skulls cracked—legally. It’s made possible by a catch-22 in the state’s penal code: a public-intoxication law that permits peace officers to go virtually anywhere, anytime, and arrest anyone they want. Except who they really want to arrest, it seems, includes mostly gays, Latinos, and blacks. As one cop told me, “We go after the disenfranchised, the people who can’t stand up and defend themselves.” Another lawyer who represents folks arrested for PI put it even more bluntly: ”If you’re brown and you’re around,” he says, “you’re going down.”

—  John Wright