A federal judge in North Dakota has struck down a Biden administration policy that would have required religious employers and health care providers to fund or perform transgender medical procedures and counseling.
Judge Daniel Traynor of the U.S. District Court of North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction May 16 in a suit brought by the Christian Employers Alliance. The Alliance challenged the interpretation of a section of the Affordable Care Act that requires both nonprofit and for-profit religious businesses to “complete or provide health insurance coverage for gender transitions services; compels them to affirm gender transitions; and prevents them from maintaining views and facilities in accordance with their religious beliefs.”
The Alliance, which serves Christian companies and nonprofits, including schools and churches, said the interpretation violated their religious rights.
In his ruling, Traynor said “religious freedoms are at the heart of this case.”
“It is in the public interest to ensure these rights are not violated,” Traynor wrote.
Alliance Defending Freedom represented Christian Employers Alliance in the suit. In a statement following the ruling, ADF Legal Counsel Jacob Reed said, “All employers and health care providers, including those in the Christian Employers Alliance, have the constitutional right to conduct their business and render treatment in a manner consistent with their deeply held religious beliefs.
“The employers we represent believe that God purposefully created humans as either male or female, and so it would violate their religious beliefs to pay for or perform life-altering medical procedures or surgeries that seek to change one’s biological sex. The court was on firm ground to halt enforcement of these unlawful mandates that disrespect people of faith.”
Christian Employers Alliance President Shannon Royce said, “The administration’s mandates are crippling for the countless Christian-owned and operated businesses seeking to care well for their employees without the fear of punishing fines, burdensome litigation costs, the loss of federal funds and even criminal penalties.
“As stewards of the health and safety of our valued employees, it is unconscionable and unconstitutional to be mandated to provide, pay for or promote services and procedures that directly contradict our deeply held religious beliefs. We are pleased that we can continue to act consistent with those beliefs while our lawsuit proceeds and look forward to ultimately prevailing with our case.”
Click here to read more and find a link to the court’s ruling.