- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Following the recent Hobby Lobby ruling, a group of religious leaders wrote a letter to President Obama on Tuesday asking to be exempt from a pending executive order that would prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in hiring practices, reported The Atlantic.

“We are asking that an extension of protection for one group not come at the expense of faith communities whose religious identity and beliefs motivate them to serve those in need,” the letter says, according to The Atlantic.

The letter comes after Monday’s Supreme Court ruling, known as Hobby Lobby, that closely held corporations are permitted a religious exemption from providing birth control as stipulated in the Affordable Care Act.

The letters of the author are no strangers to the Obama administration, and some are even open supporters of the president. One of the letters signatories was Michael Wear, reported The Atlantic, who directed faith outreach for the White House in 2012, and two signers were members of Catholics for Obama and three are former members of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Mr. Obama announced in June that his staff had drafted an executive order that would bar federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people, though he has not signed such an order. 

“Without a robust religious exemption,” they letter stated, according to Talking Points Memo, “this expansion of hiring rights will come at an unreasonable cost to the common good, national unity and religious freedom.”

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The Hobby Lobby ruling was not specifically mentioned in the letter, according to reports. 

• Jennifer Pompi can be reached at jpompi@washingtontimes.com.

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