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(LifeSiteNews) — Federal nondiscrimination rules cannot be used to force Christians to participate in gender “transition” procedures, the U.S. District Court of the District of North Dakota ruled Monday.

In 2021, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on behalf of the Christian Employers Alliance (CEA), alleging that it was forcing religious employers to fund “gender transition surgeries, procedures, and treatments” via the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOP) “misinterpreting and improperly enforcing discrimination based on sex in Title VII” of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) “reinterpretation of ‘sex’ in federal law” to encompass sexual orientation and gender identity, which would legally bind religious healthcare providers to provide care that would contradict the employers’ “deeply held beliefs.”

This week, the Christian Post reported that the district court granted the CEA a partial summary judgment, finding that it “will succeed on the merits,” and that if it “had to comply with these mandates, its members would have to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs which is an impermissible exercise under the First Amendment” as well as the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

While “protecting the right of transgender patients to access crucial healthcare and protecting workers from sex discrimination is certainly a compelling interest, the Defendants here have done nothing more than identify a broadly formulated interest in an attempt to justify the general applicability of the government mandates,” the order added.

“All employers and healthcare providers, including those in the Christian Employers Alliance, have the constitutionally protected freedom to conduct their business and render treatment in a manner consistent with their deeply held religious beliefs,” ADF senior counsel Matt Bowman reacted. “The employers we represent believe that God purposefully created humans as either male or female, and so it would violate their religious beliefs to pay for or perform life-altering medical procedures or surgeries that seek to change one’s sex. The court was on firm ground to stop the administration from enforcing these unlawful mandates that disrespect people of faith.”

As explained in an amicus brief filed by the attorneys general of 16 states in a similar 2018 case, “‘sex’ under the plain terms of Title VII does not mean anything other than biological status. Unless and until Congress affirmatively acts, our Constitution leaves to the States the authority to determine which protections, or not, should flow to individuals based on gender identity.” It argued that “basic canons of statutory interpretation” would lead any fair observer to recognize that the Congress of 1964 intended “sex” to mean only biological sex and had no intention of incorporating 2018 notions of transgender ideology.

“The term ‘gender identity,’ or as the Sixth Circuit labels it, ‘transgender’ and ‘transitioning status,’ are not found in the text or legislative history of Title VII,” the brief said, noting that “gender identity” referred “more to social and cultural roles” back then, and was a distinct concept from biological sex.

The abandonment of such distinctions has yielded substantial social chaos. A significant body of evidence shows that “affirming” gender confusion carries serious harms, especially when done with impressionable children who lack the mental development, emotional maturity, and life experience to consider the long-term ramifications of the decisions being pushed on them, or full knowledge about the long-term effects of life-altering, physically transformative, and often-irreversible surgical and chemical procedures.

Studies find that more than 80 percent of children experiencing gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence, and that even full “reassignment” surgery often fails to resolve gender-confused individuals’ heightened tendency to engage in self-harm and suicide — and may even exacerbate it, including by reinforcing their confusion and neglecting the actual root causes of their mental strife.

Last summer, the Biden HHS’s Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a since-deleted report that acknowledged “lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults are more likely than straight adults to use substances, experience mental health conditions including major depressive episodes, and experience serious thoughts of suicide.”

Yet that has not stopped President Joe Biden and his administration from giving uncompromising support to all major aspects of the LGBT movement, including reopening the military to recruits afflicted with gender dysphoria, promoting gender ideology within the military (including “diversity” and drag events on military bases), holding White House events to “affirm transgender kids,” condemning state laws against underage transitions as “close to sinful,” promoting underage transitions (potentially at taxpayer expense) as a “best practice,” and trying to force federally funded schools to let males into female athletic competitions and restrooms.