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MI laws threaten religious medical ministry serving its community

ADF attorneys available for media interviews following oral arguments Tuesday

Monday, Jun 10, 2024

WHO:  Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys

WHAT:  Available for media interviews following oral arguments in Christian Healthcare Centers v. Nessel

WHEN:  Immediately following hearing, which begins at 1 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, June 11

WHERE:  U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, Potter Stewart U.S. Courthouse, 100 E. 5th St., Cincinnati. To schedule an interview, contact ADF Media Relations Specialist Hattie Troutman at (771) 200-7630.

CINCINNATI – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a faith-based medical nonprofit ministry will be available for media interviews following oral arguments Tuesday at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Christian Healthcare Centers v. Nessel, a case that seeks to protect the Michigan-based ministry’s constitutionally protected freedom to operate as a religious organization.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and other state officials are responsible for enforcing Michigan’s civil rights laws. These laws threaten to force Christian Healthcare to hire people who do not share their faith, to prescribe cross-sex hormones, and to use pronouns that do not accord with a person’s sex. The laws are also being used to prohibit Christian Healthcare from explaining its religious reasons for these choices to the public. All of this violates the ministry’s religious beliefs, burdens its ability to advance its religious mission, and undermines its ability to provide safe health care to its community.

“Religious organizations should be free to operate and serve their communities according to their beliefs,” said ADF Legal Counsel Bryan Neihart, who will be arguing before the court. “Rather than respecting Christian Healthcare’s religious motivations to provide quality care to all members of the community, Michigan state officials are threatening to punish the ministry for living out its faith. Allowing the government to compel a religious organization to violate its beliefs nullifies longstanding First Amendment protections, and we are urging the court to protect the deeply held beliefs of faith-based ministries.”

Christian Healthcare is a nonprofit medical provider that offers high-quality health care to all of its members—including members who identify as LGBT—while substantially reducing prices for patients with lower incomes who cannot afford quality care elsewhere. The organization’s founders formed the ministry to offer a distinctly Christian alternative to traditional primary care, focusing on meeting patients’ medical, emotional, and spiritual needs. To that end, it hires staff who share its religious mission and provide medical care consistent with its religious beliefs.

After Christian Healthcare filed its appeal with the 6th Circuit in October, the ministry received support in the form of friend-of-the-court briefs from a variety of other faith groups.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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