A Walgreens employee refused to sell condoms to a couple on religious grounds
A couple of Walgreens shoppers in Wisconsin said an employee refused to sell them condoms on religious grounds — something Walgreens said was allowed under its policies.
Nathan Bentz tweeted earlier this month that his partner, Jess, had gone to buy condoms at a store in Hayward because she had forgotten about birth control. He said that when I went to check out, the cashier said he wouldn’t ring on the condom, because of his faith.
Bentz also tweeted the couple’s customer service response to Walgreens, which said the employee was “embarrassed[ed] [her] in front of other clients because of her reproductive choices.”
In a statement to NBC News, a Walgreens spokesperson said the actions of its employees do not violate company policy.
“Our policies are designed to ensure that the needs of our patients and clients are met while respecting the religious and ethical beliefs of our team members,” the spokesperson said. “Cases are rare, but when a team member has a moral or religious conviction about completing a transaction, they have to refer the customer to another employee or alternate manager who completes the transaction, which is what happened in this case.”
In the wake of the incident, at least one progressive outlet called for a pharmacy boycott in Illinois.
Incidents of religious objections in business have received more attention in recent years. In the most prominent example, the Supreme Court Ruled 2018 for Cake Maker who objected to baking a cake for a gay couple, although the court did not address the larger issue of whether companies could refuse to provide the service on religious grounds.
In February, the court He agreed to hear the case of a web design company in Colorado that objected to providing services for same-sex marriage. This case will be considered in October.
Rania Soterto Contributed.