Judge: Employers Don’t Have To Cover HIV Meds If They Oppose ‘Homosexual Behavior’

by | Sep 7, 2022 | Politics

A federal judge in Texas ruled Wednesday that requiring employers to provide coverage for PrEP medications ― which prevent the transmission of HIV ― violates the religious rights of employers under federal law.U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor said that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act provides a religious exemption from purchasing health insurance that complies with the Department of Health and Human Services’ preventive care mandate under the Affordable Care Act, which requires PrEP coverage.AdvertisementO’Connor said the government must provide this religious exemption to eight defendants ― six individuals and two businesses ― who claim that being required to provide such insurance coverage violates their “sincerely held” Christian and “non-religious” beliefs rejecting “homosexual behavior, intravenous drug use, and sexual activity outside of marriage between one man and one woman.”By requiring them to provide insurance that covers PrEP, as well as the HPV vaccine and sex education, the government “would make [them] complicit in those behaviors,” O’Connor concluded.Here’s a copy of O’Connor’s 42-page decision in the lawsuit, Kelley v. Becerra.The Texas judge went on to say that courts must support religious exemptions from federal policy mandates if a person’s religious belief is “sincerely held,” citing Supreme Court precedents in its 2014 Hobby Lobby decision and its 2020 decision in Little Sisters of the Poor. Both of those decisions authorized religious exemptions to contraception mandates in the Affordable Care Act.AdvertisementFor this …

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