A group of Christian employers are suing the Biden adminsitration in federal court in North Dakota to challenge two mandates related to funding transgender medical procedures against their religious convictions.
The public interest law firm Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) brought the case on behalf of the Christian Employers Alliance (CEA) before the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota. The case is before U.S. District Judge Daniel Traynor, a 2019 nominee of President Donald Trump.
The attorneys presented oral arguments before the court on Monday in opposition to two mandates imposed by the administration compelling profit and nonprofit religious employers to pay for gender reassignment surgeries, counseling, medical procedures and other treatments.
The lawsuit names the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC is authorized by Congress to enforce federal workplace laws, regulations and guidelines. The case alleges that the agency is misinterpreting the definition of “sex-based discriminiation” under the Title VII federal law.
As a result, the argument is that the EEOC is illegally ordering religious employers to provide and pay for health insurance coverage that includes the transgender-related medical treatments.
The case also challenges a rule enforced by the U.S. Departmnt of Health and Human Services (HHS) that interpretes the term “sex” in the rule to include a preferred gender identity. As such, HHS is coercing religious healthcare providers to either perform or facilitate gender transition surgeries and other procedures that contradict their religious beliefs and mission.
CEA President Shannon Royce said that the evidence used to support transgender treatments is “deficient and distorted.” She said that the Biden administration’s decision to force religious businesses to cover “experimental, irreversible, and often sterilizing procedures is inhumane and unconstitutional.”
Royce added that the growing number of patients who are now seeking “detransition” treatments is evidence of the fallacy behind the claims that the mandated treatments are “affirming” and “life saving.”
She added that the Biden rules are “crippling” for Christian businesses working to protect their employees without the risk of federal penalties and expensive litigation.