Denver, Colo., Jun 21, 2023 / 15:45 pm
Catholic organizations and medical professionals won’t be forced to perform gender-transition surgeries or provide insurance coverage for them after the Biden administration declined to defend the challenged “transgender mandate” federal rules with an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Becket, a religious-liberty-focused legal group, served as legal counsel for a coalition of Catholic organizations that represented hospitals, doctors, and clinics in the case known as Sisters of Mercy v. Becerra.
In January 2021, a federal district court ruled that the intrusion on the Catholic plaintiffs’ free exercise of religion was sufficient to show “irreparable harm.” A three-judge panel of the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in a Dec. 9, 2022, decision sided with the lower court’s ruling. The Biden administration had appealed the lower court’s ruling but did not ask the Supreme Court to hear a challenge to the appellate ruling by the June 20 deadline.
“After multiple defeats in court, the federal government has thrown in the towel on its controversial, medically unsupported transgender mandate,” Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel at the Becket legal group, said June 21. “Doctors take a solemn oath to ‘do no harm,’ and they can’t keep that oath if the federal government is forcing them to perform harmful, irreversible procedures against their conscience and medical expertise.”