Colo. mortgage co. seeks to stop foreclosure on religious freedom

Company co-owned by former U.S. senator files suit against Obama admin.’s abortion pill mandate
Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Attorney sound bite:  Michael Norton

DENVER — Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a Colorado mortgage banking company co-owned by former U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate. The suit joins an ever-growing number of legal challenges to the mandate, which is currently losing in court nationwide with only five out of 17 court rulings favoring the administration policy to date.

The mandate forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices, sterilization, and contraception under threat of heavy penalties.

“Americans should be free to honor God and live according to their consciences in their homes, churches, and businesses,” said Senior Counsel Michael J. Norton, a former U.S. Attorney. “Senator Armstrong believed in that constitutional principle when he served in the U.S. Senate, and he believes in that principle today. He, his fellow co-owners, and family members that work with him believe firmly that no one should be forced to choose between their faith and their job.”

Armstrong filed the suit together with members of his family and the May family who co-own Cherry Creek Mortgage Co., based in Greenwood Village. The company is licensed to do business in 27 states and employs a total 730 employees. All of the owners are evangelical Christians who specifically object to being forced to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices.

“The Constitution does not allow the government to involve itself in religion by mandating what faith is, who the faithful are, and when and where their faith can be lived out,” said co-counsel Natalie Decker, one of nearly 2,200 allied attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom. “Confining our faith to the four walls of our churches is not the job of Washington politicians and bureaucrats. The First Amendment has always protected the God-given freedom of all Americans to live and engage in business according to their faith.”

In addition to Armstrong v. Sebelius, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys are litigating nine other lawsuits against the mandate: Continuum Health Partnerships and Management, Sioux Chief Manufacturing, Annex Medical, Grote Industries, Tyndale House Publishers, Grace College and Seminary and Biola University, Hercules Industries, Geneva College and The Seneca Hardwood Lumber Company, and Louisiana College. The lawsuits represent a large cross-section of Protestants and Catholics who object to the mandate.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
 
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