Catholic business owners who beat back ObamaCare denied award from Denver

The Catholic owners of a Colorado-based business won an injunction recently against implementing an ObamaCare mandate -- only to be denied a proclamation now from the Denver City Council.

Hercules Industries, a heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning manufacturer that employs 300 workers and has been in business in the Mile-High City for 50 years, was to be honored with a “Good Citizenship Award." The laurel was in recognition of contributions to the community, including the historic restoration of company headquarters and, ironically, its “generous employee health care coverage.”


But the award was taken away after the owners of Hercules Industries, the Newland family, won the court injunction, which said that they did not have to start providing employees with coverage that included abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization. As with several companies and colleges around the nation, the family that runs Hercules claimed that the mandates force them to violate their own religious beliefs.

Denver city councilwoman-at-large Robin Kniech originally motioned for the proclamation before taking it away, citing a heated election season.

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“I opted not to submit a ceremonial proclamation on Hercules Industries in the hope of avoiding a partisan food fight in a rancorous election year,” Kniech said in a released statement last week. “Obviously, the hunger for red meat is just too great, and I regret that this has taken on so much interest.

Kniech did not return a request for comment from

Hercules Industries owner Bill Newland told Fox News Channel he thought his company was being targeted for standing up to the Obama Administration.

“The power of politicians should not be used for partisan retribution," Newland said. "The merits of Hercules [Industries] should stand on their own. This proclamation acknowledges our success and should of gone forward, but it didn’t for their personal reasons and their own beliefs.”

State lawmakers responded to the controversy by issuing their own proclamation for Hercules Industries.