Supreme Court rejects Catholic hospital's appeal over transgender patient

Nov. 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday decided not to hear an appeal from a California hospital over a lawsuit filed by a transgender man who says the institution refused to perform a hysterectomy after it learned he was transgender.

The California Court of Appeals previously ruled that Evan Minton's lawsuit against Mercy San Juan Medical Center near Sacramento, a hospital in the Dignity Health chain, could move forward with the suit that says the hospital violated his civil rights under state law that protects LGBTQ persons.


The case would have pitted Minton's rights against religious rights claimed by the Catholic hospital, which has argued that the surgery would have violated its core religious beliefs.

After Minton and his physician went public about the operation's cancellation, it was performed at a Methodist hospital that's part of the same chain.

Supreme Court Justices Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil M. Gorsuch said they would have accepted the case.

The hospital said that California state law "provides no protection whatsoever to religious healthcare providers that are compelled to allow procedures that violate their faith."


Minton said the hospital routinely performs hysterectomies and believes his surgery was cancelled solely because he was transgender.

"When I heard the news I remember being so devastated that I collapsed to the ground," Mintons said at a hearing last year, according to NBC News. "I felt distraught and helpless that the hospital was refusing to treat me simply because of who I am."

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court

Members of the U.S. Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the court in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Seated, from left to right, are Associate Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. Standing, from left to right, are Associate Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett. Pool Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI | License Photo

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