The Democratic agenda to force religious institutions to pay for policies that violate their beliefs has been temporarily thwarted.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, a public interest law firm that defends First Amendment rights, reported Tuesday that a federal judge in North Dakota blocked a Biden administration plan that would make nonprofit and for-profit firms, pay for “gender transition” procedures.
The case dates to October, when the Christian Employers Alliance, aided by the ADF, sued the Biden administration over being compelled to pay for trans procedures or provide health insurance to cover them.
For groups that receive federal funding, to not do so, amounted to discrimination under federal law, the Biden administration asserted, and would violate a rule President Joe Biden issued on his first day in office.
Yet the Alliance countered in court records that the administration’s rule for “gender transitions services” actually “compels them to affirm gender transitions, and prevents them from maintaining views and facilities in accordance with their religious beliefs.”
The Alliance maintained in court records that “gender reassignment is contrary to Christian Values.”
The group further argued that if it did not comply, “they will suffer from loss of federal funding, incur civil liabilities, EEOC investigations, lawsuits brought by both the EEOC and private parties, investigations by the OCR [Office of Civil Rights] or the Attorney General, and could even face criminal penalties.”
Instead, the Alliance sued, seeking an injunction of enforcing Biden’s rule on the grounds that it violated the group’s freedom of religion.
“Even some loss of First Amendment freedoms is an injury. Compliance with the mandate requires the Plaintiff and its members to violate their religious beliefs, convictions, and practices. This is an irreparable injury,” Judge Daniel Traynor, appointed by former President Donald Trump, wrote in his ruling.
“No government agency ought to be in the business of evaluating the sincerity of another’s religious beliefs.”
“Religious freedoms are at the heart of this case. It is in the public interest to ensure these rights are not violated. The public interest factor weighs in favor of Plaintiff [the Alliance],” Traynor wrote.
In response to the ruling, ADF Legal Counsel Jacob Reed said in a statement, “All employers and healthcare 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.”