The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced that the agency will interpret federal civil rights law to include a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, leading critics to say it could require hospitals and doctors to perform sex-change surgeries.

In an announcement Monday morning, HHS explained that it will interpret Title IX’s explicit prohibition on sex discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Under the policy, HHS Office for Civil Rights will enforce Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act to protect “the civil rights of individuals who access or seek to access covered health programs or activities” and prevent discrimination “against consumers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

As justification, HHS cited the 2020 U.S. Supreme Court decision Bostock v. Clayton County. In that case, the high court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects against employment discrimination, applies to sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Supreme Court’s conclusion comes even though neither category (sexual orientation or gender identity) is mentioned explicitly in federal civil rights law.

The HHS statement notes that while it will enforce this new interpretation, the agency will still “comply with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act” as well as “all other legal requirements.”

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement that “people have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sex and receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.”

“Fear of discrimination can lead individuals to forgo care, which can have serious negative health consequences,” Becerra continued.

“It is the position of the Department of Health and Human Services that everyone — including LGBTQ people — should be able to access health care, free from discrimination or interference, period.”

In 2020 during the Trump administration, HHS reversed Obama-era policies by finalizing a regulation that stated that sex discrimination protections would be determined “according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology.”

Terry Schilling, president of the conservative think tank American Principles Project, said in a statement that the HHS decision Monday vindicated the organization’s claim last year during the 2020 election that Joe Biden would make child sex change operations “official government policy” if elected president.

“At the time, the ad was widely denounced in the media as ‘misinformation,’” stated Schilling. “But now that Joe Biden is president, our concerns have sadly been vindicated.”

Schilling said that the new policy is “about forcing hospitals and medical professionals to adhere to leftist ideology regarding sexuality and gender” and forcing them to “provide sex-change procedures to all comers, including children….”

The above comes from a May 10 story on the Christian Post.