Consequences of SSM: Catholic Hospital Sued For Same-Sex Benefits


Redefining marriage won't affect religious liberty? Tell that to this Catholic hospital in New York:

A lawsuit that could impact religious liberty in at least six states — and which also has implications for the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) — was filed in a federal district court in New York Tuesday.

St. Joseph’s Medical Center — a Catholic hospital in Westchester — and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, the private company that insures it, are the targets of a class-action lawsuit waged by an employee who was denied spousal benefits for her partner. The two women — named as Jane Doe and Jane Roe in the lawsuit — were legally married after the New York Legislature created same-sex marriage last year.

“I remember almost a year ago when this bill was signed into law, we were told that it would have no impact on religious freedoms,” said the Rev. Jason McGuire, executive director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms. “Less than a year later it’s very clear that gay marriage is indeed having an impact on religious freedom here in the Empire State.”

St. Joseph’s Medical Center insurance plan is self-financed, which means it falls under federal law — -i.e., DOMA — rather than the laws of New York State.

“Our clients have a right to enjoy the full benefits of marriage afforded to other married couples in New York,” said the women’s lawyer, Jeffrey Norton, “and we are determined to achieve that right for them.”

Norton told CitizenLink any business headquartered in New York — or any of the other five states which currently allow same-sex marriage — must be governed by the laws of that state. -- CitizenLink