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Court shields Catholic health providers from transgender mandates

The Biden administration may undo religious protections.

WORLD —

A federal judge in North Dakota on Tuesday ruled in favor of Catholic healthcare providers who challenged Obama-era requirements that they offer gender transition procedures and cover them under their insurance plans. The decision offers hope that religious organizations can find shelter from transgender mandates under the 1993 federal Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA). But a new order from the Biden administration complicates the picture.

In June 2020, some conservative justices joined the liberal wing of the Supreme Court to rule in the controversial Bostock v. Clayton County decision that restrictions against employment discrimination based on sex covered sexual orientation and gender identity. Since then, judges have weighed how to interpret the ruling. In some cases, lower courts have already moved to apply the expanded definition to arenas other than employment. Others, like in the North Dakota case, have shielded religious organizations from transgender mandates.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Ted Eytan

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