Federal judge sets up trial for religious discrimination case

By Bob Unruh


A federal judge has set the stage for a trial in a case that charges Michigan officials inflicted religious discrimination on a medical professional working at the University of Michigan Health-West.

The ruling cited the state officials’ “hostility” to Christianity.

U.S. District Judge Jane Becker ruled, in a case brought by First Liberty Institute on behalf of Valerie Kloosterman, that her claims of violations of the Constitution’s Free Exercise and Equal Protection clauses, as well as Title VII, may proceed.

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Kloosterman was fired when she sought a religious accommodation that would allow her to avoid affirming statements that violate her conscience, referring patients for sex-obscuring procedures and experimental drugs, and from using biology-obscuring pronouns.

The case involves violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments

“It is intolerant of employers to demand that medical professionals like Valerie abandon their religious beliefs in order to remain employed,” explained Kayla Toney, a lawyer for First Liberty. “We are pleased that the court recognized that our claims that Michigan Health violated Valerie’s constitutional rights and federal employment law have merit and that her lawsuit should proceed. Employers in our nation need to take notice that religious employees cannot be discriminated against because of their beliefs.”

The legal team explained that in 2021, following a company-required “diversity” training meeting, she sought a religious accommodation because she could not affirm statements about the corporation’s fluid-gender ideology that violated her Christian beliefs

She was summoned to a later meeting so that a “diversity representative” could call her “evil” and blame her for suicides.

Then she was told she was not allowed to have her Bible “or her religious beliefs” at work. She then was fired.

The judge found Kloosterman held an “exemplary” work record and that her “vibrant faith informs how she does her work as a medical professional.”

“The court ruled that Michigan Health officials demonstrated ‘hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated her objection to the training module.’ The court cited Kennedy v. Bremerton School District for the principle that ‘official expressions of hostility’ violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment,” First Liberty said.

The court also found merit in Kloosterman’s Equal Protection and Title VII claims, because she showed that University of Michigan Health accommodated the preferences of other providers yet refused to accommodate her religious beliefs.

It’s not the first time that there’s been evidence of government “hostility” to Christians. The U.S. Supreme Court, in fact, charged that the state of Colorado exhibited “hostility” to baker Jack Phillips when it tried to force him into an indoctrination program for refusing to promote messages on his cake artistry that violated his Christian faith.

Fundamental to the dispute is her faith that “one’s sex is ordained by God, that one should love and care for the body that God gave him or her, and that one should not attempt to erase or to alter his or her sex, especially through drugs or surgical means,” the judge said.

This is in direct conflict with the radical chemical-dispensing, body-mutilating transgender ideology that Joe Biden has imposed across America, through policy and rule.

The judge noted Kloosterman’s reputation was such that patients requested her, and were willing to wait for an appointment with her, and that she “gladly served people of all beliefs and backgrounds and was committed to giving the best possible care to all her patients.”

Further, her contract said specifically that the hospital “shall not have the right to direct [her] to take or omit any act which conflicts with such medical judgment in the care of patients.”

She declined to support the transgender ideologies as her medical conclusion was that those procedures “often lead to negative clinical outcomes such as bone density loss, infection, nerve damage, chronic pain, loss of sexual and urinary functions, psychological trauma and other serious complications.’

However, she cooperated with even the corporation’s insistence of “training on serving LGTBQ+ patients” until that demanded that she change her faith to “affirm” those alternative lifestyle choices.

It was at that point she requested a religious accommodation and was fired.

This was after the company’s “DEI director,” Thomas Pierce, called her “evil” and demanded that “by using a patient’s name instead of his or her preferred pronouns, she would cause him or her to commit suicide,” the judge ruled.

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