Judge stops Biden admin mandates forcing employers to pay for, perform transgender medical procedures despite religious objections

The Biden administration cannot force religious employers and healthcare providers to pay for and provide transgender medical procedures and treatments that go against deeply held religious beliefs – at least for now.

U.S. District Court Judge Daniel M. Traynor of North Dakota issued an order on Monday that temporarily stops two Biden administration mandates forcing religious employers and healthcare providers to pay for and provide transgender medical procedures, treatments and counseling.

The preliminary injunction was requested in a lawsuit filed by Alliance for Defending Freedom (ADF) on behalf of the Christian Employers Alliance (CEA).

Legal Counsel Jacob Reed, who argued the case before the court on behalf of CEA, said “All employers, including those in the Christian Employers Alliance, have the constitutional right to conduct their business in a manner consistent with their deeply held religious beliefs.”

In the decision, the judge writes that ADF “has shown a likelihood of success on the merits” in its case, adding, “No government agency ought to be in the business of evaluating the sincerity of another’s religious beliefs.”  

In his conclusion, the judge added, “Beyond the religious implications, the Biden HHS Notification and resulting HHS Guidance frustrate the proper care of gender dysphoria, where even among adults who experience the condition, a diagnosis occurs following the considered involvement of medical professionals. By branding the consideration as ‘discrimination,’ the HHS prohibits the medical profession from evaluating what is best for the patient in what is certainly a complex mental health question.”

After the ruling, CEA President Shannon Royce said in a statement, “The administration’s mandates are crippling for the countless Christian-owned and operated businesses seeking to care well for their employees without the fear of punishing fines, burdensome litigation costs, the loss of federal funds, and even criminal penalties.

“As stewards of the health and safety of our valued employees, it is unconscionable and unconstitutional to be mandated to provide, pay for, or promote services and procedures that directly contradict our deeply held religious beliefs. We are pleased that we can continue to act consistent with those beliefs while our lawsuit proceeds and look forward to ultimately prevailing with our case.”