Catholic groups are suing the Obama administration over trans protection laws
A slew of Catholic organisations are set to sue the Obama administration over a federal law which protects the transgender community from discrimination.
The group say the law will force Catholic hospitals and doctors to perform gender reassignment services, which is against their faith.
The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in the North Dakota District Court by the Catholic Benefits Association.
The group called the law part of a “multi-agency effort to redefine the term ‘sex’ in federal anti-discrimination laws.”
The law they group are attempting to tackle went into effect in July, and helped to clarify an anti-bias provision of the Affordable Care Act.
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The law prohibits discrimination in health programmes which receive federal funding.
The rule was not specifically set up to protect transgender people, it just aims to beat discrimination on the basis of gender identity.
LGBT activists stress that the law offers critical protections for the trans community.
“What the rule says is if you provide a particular service to anybody, you can’t refuse to provide it to anyone,” said Sarah Warbelow, the legal director for the Human Rights Campaign.
The Catholic groups deny this factor, and stand by the notion that doctors should not have to perform acts if it conflicts with their “religious belief or professional judgement”.
Chief executive of the Catholic benefits Association, Douglas Wilson, said: “Catholic hospitals provide compassionate care to everyone, regardless of status. Patients experiencing gender dysphoria deserve no less.
“The prime ethic of any healthcare provider is do no harm. These regulations do the opposite.”
The lawsuit is also attempting to tackle abortion laws – saying that the rule forces doctors to perform the act against their faith.