The Catholic Benefits Association and the Diocese of Fargo, North Dakota have joined in a lawsuit against the federal government, challenging regulations that could be used to force health-care providers to perform sex-reassignment surgery.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in North Dakota, charges that a
“multi-agency effort to redefine the term ‘sex’ in federal
anti-discrimination laws” is a threat to the religious freedom of
Catholic doctors and Catholic hospitals.
The suit focuses on a regulation, scheduled to take effect on January
1, which prohibits discriminatory treatment on the basis of “gender
The plaintiffs fear that the regulation could be used against
health-care provider who refuse to perform surgery for transgender
Douglas Wilson, the head of the Catholic Benefits Association, said
that Church-administered hospitals already provide care for people
suffering from gender-identity questions. That care, however, should not
include surgical removal of sex organs.
“The prime ethic of any
heath-care provide is do no harm,” Wilson said. “These regulations do