WASHINGTON, DC, Oct 22 — “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It’s guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. But that hasn’t stopped the Biden administration from commanding medical professionals to use their skills to turn boys into girls and girls into boys by performing transgender procedures, notwithstanding the physician’s personal religious beliefs.
No sooner did the president take office than he issued an executive order warning that he would enforce the Supreme Court’s 2020 ruling that discrimination based on sex outlawed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covers people who are gay or transgender. But the ruling is not clear as to whether it refers to sex-change procedures and surgeries, which faith-based medical institutions say go against its principles.
President Obama’s Affordable Care Act tried to force healthcare providers of faith — including doctors — to perform sex-change operations back in 2016. U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor of the Northern District of Texas twice ruled that “doctors are to be exempt from the government’s requirement to perform abortions and gender transition surgeries,” once in 2019 and, again, now.
But it appears that leftist elements in the federal government are hell-bent on dismissing the First Amendment and remain determined to continue their mission of swapping freedom for socialism, as someone once put it.
And so here we go again with yet another lawsuit, this one brought by The Christian Employers Alliance (CEA). The CEA, which represents Christian-owned businesses, including medical establishments, is being ordered by the Biden administration to provide “gender transition surgeries, procedures, counseling, and treatments.”
So, the Alliance has petitioned a federal district court in Bozeman, Montana, to rule that it’s a violation of the religious rights of its membership.
Shannon Royce, president of the Alliance, says, “employers and entrepreneurs, like many Americans, are growing increasingly concerned by rising costs that can be blamed in part on oppressive government mandates … These gender transition mandates greatly exacerbate this problem by threatening religious employers with punishing fines, burdensome litigation costs, the loss of federal funds, and even criminal penalties … Additionally, the mandate creates a unique quagmire of concerns for religious healthcare providers by forcing them to speak positively about gender transition procedures even if they disagree with them.”
Even the National Institutes of Health [NIH] warns of the serious risks associated with sex-change treatments and surgery, not the least of which are depression and suicide. They include “the risk of depressive illness and suicide. Physicians and mental health professionals should know these risks and the regrets of those who have been through sex-change operations.”
It’s important to note that these injunction rulings in support of the rights of faith-based medical institutions and doctors apply to the plaintiffs in each case. New such lawsuits are bound to be litigated in the future. It will take a ruling from the Supreme Court to make a final decision as to whether medical institutions and physicians with religious scruples will prevail in their fight to follow their faith and consciences when treating transgender patients, especially their younger patients.
Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, says that “These religious doctors and hospitals joyfully serve all patients and routinely provide top-notch care to transgender patients. There is ample evidence, however, that some gender transition procedures can harm patients,” Goodrich said.
Goodrich pointed out that “Several federal circuits — including the 5th and 1st — have all reached the same conclusion: There is no medical consensus that sex reassignment surgery is a necessary or even effective treatment for gender dysphoria.”
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