As soon as the Supreme Court issued its decision this morning in the Hobby Lobby case, the Pro-Life Action League immediately called for a Victory Rally at noon in Federal Plaza in Chicago, the League’s headquarters city.
Chicago was Ground Zero for the nationwide “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” rallies that protested the HHS Mandate when the Obama administration first announced it in 2012, so we felt compelled to return to the site of those rallies to celebrate today’s ruling.
And so, with only a few hours notice, a crowd of over 100 descended on Federal Plaza to mark this win for religious freedom. Just as notably, local media covered the rally in a big way.
Pro-Life Action League executive director Eric Scheidler served as M.C. for the rally and began by inviting Father Thomas Loya of Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church in Homer Glen, Illinois to offer an invocation. Father Loya noted that today’s victory was cause for celebration, but also cause for humility and repentance, and proclaimed Psalm 51.
The next speaker was Chris Yep, who, along with his wife Mary Anne, are the owners of Triune Health Group, one of seven businesses in Illinois that has filed suit against the federal government over the HHS Mandate. (It’s also worth noting that Triune was named the Best Place to Work for Women by Crain’s Chicago Business in 2012. So much for the idea that opposing the HHS Mandate amounts to a “war on women”!)
Other speakers included:
- Emily Zender, executive director of Illinois Right to Life
- Peter Breen, vice president and senior counsel of the Thomas More Society Pro-Life Law Center
- Kara Mone, project coordinator at CatholicVote.org
- John Mauck, partner at Mauck & Baker
- Sally Wagenmaker, partner at Wagenmaker & Oberly and president of the Christian Legal Society‘s Northern Illinois Chapter
- Dave Smith, president of the Illinois Family Institute
As many of the speakers pointed out in their remarks, today’s Supreme Court ruling is certainly not the end of the struggle to safeguard the right to religious freedom. On the contrary, we must remain vigilant, and remain vigilant we shall.
- See more pictures from today’s rally on Flickr