And with the current Supreme Court at least (from corporate "personhood" onward), I don't think we can be certain what would come out of that.
Corporate Personhood has been a concept in the US since at least 1888 and more likely 1819 (with Dartmouth College vs Woodward
). Citizens United expanded it to include free speech rights but the concept was around long before that.
The thing with Hobby Lobby is that it isn't as wide as people think/fear/hope (depending on your persuasion) it is.
For the sake of argument let us assume that it's correct in saying that closely-held corporations can have a religious character and beliefs. And that a new piece of federal legislation runs counter to those beliefs.
Well, you apply the Religious Freedom Restoration Act 1993, that states:
In general Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.
Being forced to pay for abortifacient drugs which run counter to ones religious belief strikes me as a pretty substantial burden on the exercise of one's religion, especially when not funding those drugs (either specifically or by dropping coverage entirely) would mandate significant costs. I note also the case of Adams v. Commissioner which held that having to pay federal taxes which in turn went on the military was a substantial burden on the exercise of religion of a devout Quaker due to their pacifism. The Quaker didn't buy any weapons, train any soldiers, send them into combat or even decide whether to buy any weapons, train any soldiers or send them into combat but by being required to fund those decisions if they were made their exercise of religion was being substantially burdened.
But, despite that, Quakers still have to pay federal taxes. And that's because of the exceptions contained in subsection (b) of the RFRA.
Section (b) holds:
Government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person—
(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and
(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
In Hobby Lobby the court took it as read that was
a compelling governmental interest to provide cost-free access to the drugs in question. Perhaps the most unappreciated aspect of the case is that from Hobby Lobby onwards any objections along the lines of "it's not the government's business" to deal with these sort of drugs immediately falls apart.
Where the government's case fell apart was in the second part of the exception; was it the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling interest? And the issue the government faced here was that it had already included
a less restrictive option which they argued didn't include any further cost burden to the government. In the above mentioned Quaker case, the plantiff's case failed because there was a compelling governmental interest in funding military expenditure and there was no less restrictive way of doing so then taxes. In Hobby Lobby the government was able to demonstrate an interest but provided pretty much no evidence that the planned approach was the least restrictive way of furthering that interest (and, as mentioned above, had actually included a less restrictive way as an option).
On a side note, as Valthazar mentions, in the lead judgement Alito actually notes that a system where the government funded these drugs through tax revenue... i.e. single-payer... would avoid all of these issues. It's a powerful obita-dicta in favour of a single-payer system and not that far off an actual recommendation.
And let's also remember that Hobby Lobby wasn't about whether people should have access
to the drugs in question; it was about who should fund
that access, the employer, the insurer or the government. What Hobby Lobby says is that in the case of closely-held corporations with religious beliefs that would be substantially burdened by funding access to those drugs, the corporation shouldn't pay for it and either the insurer or government should.
So, let's apply the logic used in Hobby Lobby to the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Is preventing discrimination in hiring or employment on the grounds of sexuality or gender identity a "substantial burden on the exercise of religion". Frankly, I'm not sure it is and what links one might find are tenuous as best. While in both Hobby Lobby and Adams there's a direct objection (with the plaintiff being required to fund something that goes against their religious beliefs), there's no such direct objection in a case relating to gender identity or sexuality.
But even if it is viewed as being a substantial burden on the exercise of religion, the exceptions come into play. I don't see how one could argue there isn't
a governmental interest in preventing discrimination in employment and I can't think of a less restrictive way of preventing discrimination in employment then, well, simply preventing it. In Hobby Lobby there were other, less restrictive options, for funding access to the drugs in question... one which the government had actually already proposed and put in place. What other options are available for preventing discrimination?