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Court reminds Kathy Hochul that religious rights exist

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 10/13/2021 Kaylee McGhee White
Kathy Hochul wearing a blue shirt © Provided by Washington Examiner

Last month, I predicted the courts would strike down New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s refusal of religious exemptions for her sweeping vaccine mandate. Sure enough, a federal judge this week granted a preliminary injunction against Hochul’s mandate, citing her attempt to block workers from claiming religious exemption.

The state is now prohibited from enforcing the mandate and denying or revoking exemption requests.

“Plaintiffs have established that [the mandate] conflicts with longstanding federal protections for religious beliefs and that they and others will suffer irreparable harm in the absence of injunctive relief,” Judge David Hurd wrote.

Hochul has vowed to fight the ruling, but she won’t get anywhere. The state does not have the right to dismiss religious workers’ concerns and force them to do something they believe violates their faith. She might disagree with their reasoning, but she cannot deny them the right to exercise their beliefs.

The plaintiffs who sued Hochul were healthcare workers, most of them Catholic, and they objected to the mandate on the grounds that aborted fetal cells were used in the testing, development, or production of the various coronavirus vaccines.

Again, it is OK to disagree with these workers’ moral reasoning — the Pope certainly does — but their convictions are legitimate. They do not want to benefit, indirectly or directly, from abortion. They oppose the vaccines for the same reason many pro-lifers boycott businesses that contribute to abortion providers.

No government official has the right to force them to violate their conscience on this matter. Hochul is bound to figure that out the hard way.


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Tags: Beltway Confidential, Opinion, Kathy Hochul, New York, Abortion, Religious Freedom, Coronavirus, Vaccination

Original Author: Kaylee McGhee White

Original Location: Court reminds Kathy Hochul that religious rights exist


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