Same-sex couple sues NY Catholic hospital over family health

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

The Advocate reported Friday (May 29) on a class action lawsuit filed last week in federal district court in New York by a married lesbian couple who claim that a Catholic hospital illegally discriminated against them by refusing them the same family health benefits offered to other employees. The suit was filed against St. Joseph Medical Center in Yonkers, NY, as well as against the insurance company that administers the hospital’s self-insurance plan.  In a statement on the case, the New York State Catholic Conference said in part:

In 2011, when Governor Andrew Cuomo made the redefinition of marriage his top legislative priority, we warned not only that such action would have negative consequences for society, but also that it would infringe on the religious liberty of Catholic employers….. As we stated when the law was passed, the so-called “religious exemption” language included in the bill was insufficient to protect religious institutions.

(See prior related posting.)