A federal judge in Texas threw out Biden administration guidelines threatening health care providers and parents with civil rights lawsuits over opposition to transgender surgeries that mutilate children’s sex organs.
In September last year, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of Texas challenging regulations from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that mandated accommodation for trans-identified employees. Under the EEOC guidance, employers may be sued for discrimination over policies related to dress codes, bathrooms, and pronouns.
But in March, the case was amended to include new rules from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) covering how minors must be accommodated with wrongly named “gender affirming care.” The HHS regulations came in response to Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s February order, which tasked protective services with investigating so-called sex-change procedures on minors as child abuse, and stipulated that opponents to such severe medical intervention could be subject to civil rights lawsuits.
The Biden administration argued the new regulations were justified by the Supreme Court’s 2020 decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, wherein the high court changed the meaning of “sex” in civil rights protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the majority 6-3 opinion, which declared that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal to fire an employee for being gay or transgender. Writing in dissent, Justice Samuel Alito warned the majority ruling in Bostock would creep into attempted government coercion of every possible avenue of accommodation.
“Today’s decision may have effects that extend well beyond the domain of federal antidiscrimination statutes,” Alito wrote, citing another case where a transgender prisoner was denied hormone medication “and ability to dress and groom as a female.”
In striking down the Biden administration guidelines last week, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled that the administration overstepped in its regulations when it drew upon the court’s Bostock ruling. The Supreme Court, Kacsmaryk wrote, barred discrimination on the basis of sexuality and gender identity under Title VII “but not necessarily all correlated conduct,” and cited Justice Alito’s hypothetical “parade of horrible” coming to fruition.
Kacsmaryk did not rule whether “correlated conduct” such as pronoun demands and bathroom rules is protected under Title VII but argued that the Supreme Court did not decide on the issue and left the door open.
“The Guidances and Defendants misread Bostock by melding ‘status’ and ‘conduct’ into one catchall protected class covering all conduct correlating to ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity,'” the judge wrote.
In other words, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII barred the firing of employees for being gay or transgender, but the justices did not decide on how far protections extended under Title VII.
Meanwhile, sex change procedures for minors are on the rise. The business of transgender surgery is expected to become a $5 billion-dollar industry in the next 10 years, with major health care networks capitalizing on child sex changes. Gender-confused children who pursue irreversible medical treatments become permanent patients requiring lifelong treatment.