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Catholic institutions vulnerable to sexual “identity” discrimination lawsuits

The ACLU has filed suit against a Catholic hospital in Carmichael, California, on behalf of a woman who was “discriminated against” for being refused a hysterectomy as part of her transition from female to male.

In an attempt to continue her desired “transition” from female to male, Evan Michael Minton was scheduled by her surgeon to undergo a hysterectomy at Dignity Health chain’s Catholic Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael, California last summer.  The surgery was denied by the Catholic hospital’s policy.  And, although Minton was able to have the surgery at another Dignity Health chain hospital in September, she told a reporter for the Sacramento Bee that she was “devastated” by the denial. Claiming that the hospital’s unwillingness to perform the surgery caused such “frustration and disappointment,” the American Civil Liberties Union has now stepped in to file a lawsuit against the hospital last week on his behalf.

Filed in San Francisco Superior Court, the ACLU lawsuit claims that Minton was “discriminated against” when she sought a hysterectomy as part of her transition from female to male.  Spokeswoman Melissa Jue, of the Mercy San Juan Medical Center, told reporters that “sterilization procedures, such as hysterectomies or tubal ligations are permitted by Catholic hospitals only to cure or alleviate a serious pathology.”  She pointed out that Dignity Health officials helped Minton obtain the hysterectomy the following month at one of Dignity’s non-Catholic hospitals, Methodist Hospital of Sacramento.

Minton’s surgeon, obstetrician gynecologist Dr. Lindsey Dawson, told reporters: “I don’t blame the administrators.  I blame the (Catholic) doctrines.”  Minton has already had a double mastectomy and a phalloplasty in her quest to become a male.  The hysterectomy was the final step in Minton’s journey to “be able to be congruent with who I am.”  Telling reporters that “When I got my complete body, the rest of my life starts here,” Minton added that: “I don’t want it to affect my transgender brothers and sisters the way it affected me…No one should have to go through that.” That is exactly what should concern all Catholic institutions—including Catholic colleges and universities—as they are all vulnerable to transgender discrimination lawsuits. Minton’s suit is a cautionary tale for Catholic institutions.

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