The Christian Employers Alliance (CEA) is suing the Biden administration over two mandates that force religious nonprofit and for-profit employers to fund “gender transition surgeries, procedures, counseling, and treatments.”
Alliance Defending Freedom on Tuesday filed a motion asking a federal district court in Bozeman, Montana, to cease enforcement of the measures on behalf of the Christian employers group, an organization that provides support to Christian businesses and nonprofits, National Review reports.
The lawsuit maintains that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is misinterpreting and improperly enforcing the definition of sex discrimination included in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to force employers to provide gender transition medical coverage and procedures against their religious beliefs.
The lawsuit says the enforcement of a similar mandate by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that reinterprets “sex” to include gender identity will make religious health care providers “physically perform, facilitate, or promote gender transition surgeries and procedures that are contrary to their deeply held religious beliefs and expert medical judgment.”
Title VII makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity) or religion. The Act also makes it unlawful to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
The CEA says on its website that its mission is to “unite, equip, and represent Christian-owned businesses to protect religious freedom and provide the opportunity for employees, businesses, and communities to flourish.”
CEA President Shannon Royce said “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,” Royce said. “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.”
In May 2021, the Biden administration prohibited discrimination against transgender people in healthcare.
Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Matt Bowman said Biden has “far overreached his constitutional authority” by improperly enforcing federal law “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,” Bowman said in a statement.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga. in 2020, said sex discrimination protections in the workplace include transgender people. Some Christian conservatives are concerned that the decision has impacted religious freedoms and affected faith-based employment.
Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said at the time that the Supreme Court had effectively redefined the legal meaning of “sex.”
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