A Christian medical non-profit has filed a lawsuit challenging a Michigan civil rights law that would force providers to prescribe hormone blockers and use patients’ preferred pronouns even if it goes against their conscience.
Christian Healthcare Centers, which represents a network of Christian medical care providers in Grand Rapids, accuses the state of rendering its members vulnerable to state persecution, The Christian Post reported.
The organization is being defended by the Alliance Defending Freedom, which has represented Christians like Jack Phillips, who appealed a decision from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that he had violated a customer’s rights when he refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding all the way up the Supreme Court.
“Christian Healthcare has already been asked to use preferred pronouns and to change patient sex in medical records and refused. And Christian Healthcare currently holds policies that violate Michigan’s law and subject it to immediate investigation and prosecution,” the lawsuit, filed last week against Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and other officials, states.
“The First and Fourteenth Amendments protect Christian Healthcare’s religious and expressive freedom to do so,” the filing continues. “Just as the government cannot force a synagogue to hire Hindus or an Islamic cultural center to promote alcohol use, it cannot force Christian Healthcare to compromise its religious character, hire those who do not share its faith, or speak messages that contradict that faith.”
The lawsuit contends that Michigan’s law inhibits its operation as a Christian non-profit in accordance with the religious conviction of its members.
“Christian Healthcare … maintains the integrity of its religious mission by only hiring employees who share its faith,” the suit states. “This is standard procedure in ministry and is perfectly legal under federal law and the law of nearly every state. But not in Michigan.”
“Under the guise of stopping discrimination, the law discriminates against religious organizations, requiring them to forfeit their religious character and hire people
who do not share their faith,” it continues.
Hal Frampton of ADF explained that Christian Healthcare cannot “be forced to check its faith at the clinic door.”
“Christian Healthcare Centers serves everybody with compassionate care and respect, including patients who identify as the opposite of their biological sex, providing them with the same high-quality care it provides to all of its patients,” he said.
“Yet this lawsuit is necessary to protect Christian Healthcare Centers’ constitutional rights and to ensure other religious organizations can freely operate according to the dictates of their faith.”
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