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Hobby Lobby coming to SLO, local organization encouraging people not to shop there

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Posted at 11:37 PM, Aug 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-09 13:18:14-04

The San Luis Obispo Promenade will soon be home to a Hobby Lobby craft store.

However, the local Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GALA) is expressing concern about the store opening a location in San Luis Obispo, and the group is asking community members to shop somewhere else.

"We have seen them interfere with local politics in other cities that they've been involved in. We do not want them to get involved with our local politics," said Serrin Ruggles, GALA Director of Operations.

Ruggles says Hobby Lobby has a history of taking out ads in newspapers and petitioning local, state and federal representatives to push their political views.

"They are anti-LGBTQ. They have a very narrow view of how the country should be run," said Ruggles.

In 2014, former President Barach Obama signed an executive order to protect LGBTQ+ employees from federal contractors discriminating on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. Ruggles says Hobby Lobby then pushed a number of religious organizations to petition for Obama to create a religious exemption.

"So that federal contractors could discriminate on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation if they claimed religious exemption," Ruggles said.

Hobby Lobby was also involved in a Supreme Court case in which the court ruled that businesses did not have to include birth control in their health insurance coverage.

KSBY News reached out to Hobby Lobby but they did not respond to our request for comment.

Some locals said they are unfamiliar with Hobby Lobby's political views and to them, it's just another craft store.

"Yeah, I don't know much. I haven't seen one growing up or traveling or anything, but yeah, as far as I know, it's just a craft store," said Logan Serna, a Morro Bay resident.

But those familiar with Hobby Lobby's history say they're surprised the store is opening a San Luis Obispo location.

"Because of their history of being against gay and lesbian and trans people," said Sandi Pinnegar, a San Luis Obispo resident. "I will never shop there."