September 2022 Church & State Magazine

Wisc. Drug Store Clerk Refuses To Sell Condoms To Couple

  Wisc. Drug Store Clerk Refuses To Sell Condoms To Couple

A clerk at a Walgreen’s drug store in Hayward, Wisc., refused to sell condoms to a couple, saying it violated his religious beliefs.

Nathan Pentz tweeted about the July incident. Pentz said that when his partner Jess approached the checkout, the clerk, identified as “John,” told her he would not complete the sale “because of my faith.”

Pentz complained to Walgreen’s, arguing that the employee’s behavior embarrassed the couple, but a spokes­man for the company told NBC News that the clerk did nothing improper.

“Our policies are designed to ensure we meet the needs of our patients and customers while respecting the religious and moral beliefs of our team members,” the spokesperson said. “The instances are rare, however when a team member has a moral or religious conviction about completing a transaction, they are required to refer the customer to another employee or manager on duty who will complete the transaction, which is what occurred in this instance.”

Walgreen’s also allows pharmacists to refuse to fill certain prescriptions, such as birth control, if they have a moral objection. They are required to refer the matter to another pharmacist.

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The Do No Harm Act will help ensure that our laws are a shield to protect religious freedom and not used as a sword to harm others by undermining civil rights laws and denying access to health care.

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