Religious hospital sued over refusing transgender surgery

The ACLU is helping a transgender man sue a Catholic hospital—after they refused to perform a sex change.
Evan Michael Minton, 35, who was born a woman but now identifies as a man, came to Dignity Health Mercy San Juan Medical Center, a private Catholic hospital in Sacramento, California, in order to get a hysterectomy.

Minton claims that Dignity Health Mercy San Juan abruptly cancelled his surgery the day before it was scheduled to take place. While his doctor was able to perform the surgery at another local hospital, Minton has decided to make a statement—and take legal action against the Catholic hospital, claiming they discriminated against him.

“It devastated me, and I don’t want it to affect my transgender brothers and sisters the way it affected me,” Minton said. “No one should have to go through that.” Minton isn’t in it for the money—he seeks just $4,000, which is the minimum amount of financial damages under the law—but, seemingly, rather to make a statement.

However, Dignity Health Mercy San Juan officials are denying that Minton’s case has any merit. “The services we provide are available to all members of the communities we serve without discrimination,” the hospital explained in a statement. “We understand how important this surgery is for transgender individuals, and were happy to provide Mr. Minton and his surgeon the use of another Dignity Health hospital for his surgery within a few days.

“We do not provide elective sterilizations at Dignity Health’s Catholic facilities in accordance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs) and the medical staff bylaws,” they added.
Minton’s case could, likely, reach the Supreme Court—where it would be another clash between the LGBT community and Christians.


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