BISMARCK, N.D. – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing the Christian Employers Alliance filed suit in federal court Monday to challenge two Biden administration mandates that force religious nonprofit and for-profit employers to pay for or perform gender transition surgeries, procedures, counseling, and treatments in violation of their religious beliefs. ADF attorneys also filed a motion Tuesday asking the court to immediately halt enforcement of these mandates.
The lawsuit, Christian Employers Alliance v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, explains that the agency is misinterpreting and improperly enforcing discrimination based on sex in Title VII to force religious employers to pay for and provide health insurance coverage for gender transition surgeries and procedures. Additionally, the lawsuit challenges the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ reinterpretation of “sex” in federal law to include gender identity, thereby forcing religious healthcare providers to physically perform or facilitate gender transition surgeries and procedures, contrary to their deeply held beliefs.
“Many religious employers—including the Christian Employers Alliance and all of its members—hold sincere beliefs that gender transition surgeries and procedures are morally wrong and contradict their beliefs that God purposefully created humans as either a biological male or female and that a person’s biological sex is immutable,” said ADF Senior Counsel Matt Bowman. “By misinterpreting and improperly enforcing federal law, President Biden has far overreached his constitutional authority, to the detriment of people of faith across the country. The government cannot force Christian employers to pay for, or physically perform, harmful medical procedures that contradict their religious beliefs. The Constitution protects religious healthcare providers and employers and allows them to go about their work in a manner compatible with their deeply held convictions and faith.”
The HHS mandate also compels religious healthcare providers to speak positively about these procedures even if they disagree with them and prohibits them from sharing their medical opinions or objections. Neither the EEOC nor HHS provide religious exemptions to these mandates. If CEA members fail to comply with these mandates, they face loss of federal funds, the prospect of expensive and burdensome litigation, and in some cases fines, criminal penalties, and attorneys’ fees and costs.
ADF attorneys representing the American College of Pediatricians, the Catholic Medical Association, and an OB-GYN doctor who specializes in caring for adolescents filed a separate lawsuit in August challenging the same HHS mandate on the basis that it would require doctors to perform gender transition procedures on any patient, including a child, if the procedure violates a doctor’s medical judgment or religious beliefs.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.
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