Shoppers "Stand By" Hobby Lobby

By: Ashley Arnold Email
By: Ashley Arnold Email

Around the country, thousands rallied behind Hobby Lobby after learning the government was fining the craft chain store $1.3 million per day for refusing to obey parts of the healthcare reform act.

Saturday, residents of Bay County participated in an event started on Facebook called, "Stand By Hobby Lobby," showing their support for the store by spending money at the story.

"It's one of my favorite stores," said Penny Lovett, "and I want to support them."

Store supporters say the government's decision is unfair to the company and the healthcare reform act isn't a step forward as it's been portrayed.

"I think it's wrong that the government, any government, ask a business, a person, an individual to compromise their beliefs," said Lovett. "Hobby Lobby does not do that - they don't open on Sunday, there's a reason for that."

But not everyone shares that opinion.

"I think Obama's bill was a step in the right direction as far as trying to cover the most people for the most number of things," said shopper Fraser Jackson. "I think their decision to opt out of this was wrong."

The company's decision may cost them more than just the fines from the government if formerly devoted fans of the store - such as Jackson - choose to stop shopping there. When asked if she would be returning to the store, her answer was straightforward.

"Unless I absolutely have to come here for something, if I can't find it somewhere else, I wouldn't shop here anymore."

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