Washington State mother sues employer for denying insurance coverage to transgender son

Lawsuit claims Catholic health care organization is breaking law by denying coverage for all transgender services

Metro Weekly

John Riley

The ACLU of Washington has filed a civil rights lawsuit against a Catholic health care organization for refusing to cover the medically necessary surgery required by a transgender son of one of their employees.

The ACLU is suing on behalf of Cheryl Enstad, a medical social worker at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Wash. Enstad decided to file a lawsuit after PeaceHealth refused to cover the medical expenses of her transgender son, Pax, even though the treatments that were denied were recommended to treat his gender dysphoria.

Because PeaceHealth is a Catholic health care organization, it tries to abide by the teachings of the Catholic Church when it comes to issues surrounding sexual orientation or gender identity. It used that as justification for refusing to provide coverage for a recommended chest reconstruction surgery and other treatments for gender dysphoria under its medical benefits plan. . . [Full text]


One thought on “Washington State mother sues employer for denying insurance coverage to transgender son”

  1. The news report refers to Pax Enstad as Cheryl Enstad’s “transgender son,” and consistently uses the masculine pronoun in reference to Pax. On reading the story, it becomes apparent that Pax Enstad is biologically female but has had sex change (“gender reassignment”) surgery. By adopting the editorial policy of referring to someone according to the sex of her preference (whether or not all surgical and pharmacological interventions have been completed), the newspaper effectively sides with the plaintiff in the lawsuit and against the objecting institution, the religious/moral/ethical position of which is based upon the normality of the unaltered sexual characteristics of the plaintiff’s child. Had the paper referred to Pax Enstad as the plaintiff’s daughter, who was refused sex change surgery by the Catholic institution, the situation would have been clearer at the outset to the reader, but the paper would then likely have been accused of adopting perspective of the institution, even if the editors considered themselves to be reporting biologically correct facts.

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