A transgender man in New Jersey sued a Roman Catholic hospital Thursday, saying it cited religion in refusing to allow his surgeon to perform a hysterectomy as part of his sex transition, the AP reports. Jionni Conforti, 33, had scheduled the surgery at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in 2015. But he alleges in the federal sex and gender discrimination lawsuit that a hospital administrator then told him the procedure to remove his uterus couldn't be done because it was a "Catholic hospital." "I felt completely disrespected," Conforti said. "That's not how any hospital should treat any person regardless of who they are...I felt like I was rejected and humiliated."
Conforti, who is seeking monetary damages and to require the hospital perform any needed medical care for transgender patients,says he's suing so no one else has to go through what he did. The lawsuit comes less than a week after a federal judge in Texas ordered a halt to new US Health and Human Services regulations that had been set to go into effect Jan. 1 to bar certain forms of transgender discrimination by doctors, hospitals, and insurers. Opponents say the regulations create a moral problem for Catholic employers and religious groups. They say Pope Francis has reiterated that Catholic teachings oppose theories that a person's sex is alterable. (Read more transgender stories.)