BOSTON (Christian Examiner) – A Christian doctor who lost an appeal to have his privileges restored with a Harvard University-affiliated hospital after they were revoked over his views on homosexuality has issued a statement about the controversy, The College Fix has reported.
Dr. Paul Church was a 28-year veteran of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and widely regarded as a stellar urologist who wrote often on the risks of non-traditional sexual behaviors and HIV. A decade ago, however, the medical center began championing the homosexual lifestyle, ignoring the medical implications of the behavior.
Church challenged that effort and was told to quietly resign if he could not support the hospital's initiatives. He refused and his appointment was revoked, as Christian Examiner reported Dec. 24.
Church, who was initially dismissed in March, wrote in a statement that the final revocation of his appointment was upheld because he opposed the hospital's "aggressive institutional endorsements and annual promotions surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender activities within and outside the medical center, including the vulgar Boston Pride parade, to the exclusion of medical facts and traditional values."
Church also told The College Fix in an interview that doctors have a medical and even a moral obligation to speak honestly about dangerous behaviors, but instead the hospital has endorsed homosexuality and made it impossible for those of different moral, religious and medical opinions about the practice to speak on the issue.
In his statement, Church said the hospital never addressed the substance of his medical objections to promoting homosexuality. Instead, it only deemed his efforts to speak on the issue as offensive to other staff members who believed homosexuality was acceptable.
"The data is there, [and] we need to base our discussion on those facts," Church told The College Fix. "It's disturbing that there are some groups willing to ignore the data in favor of a political agenda."
Church did not set out to become a spokesman for traditional values at the hospital, but he came forward, he said, when other members of the staff with similar values also began to question privately the push to condone the behavior.
"I have challenged the medical center to be more truthful and honest about the negative health consequences inherent with high risk and unhealthy sexual behaviors and to be more respectful of the diversity of religious and moral views regarding homosexuality," Church wrote in his statement.
"Instead, it has chosen the path of political correctness and the promotion of a social agenda unrelated to the practice of medicine or the advancement of healthcare and the public welfare. Despite an outpouring of public support, the Board of Directors was unwilling to address the real issues here. Voicing medical facts, religious convictions, or traditional morality is now apparently punishable by dismissal, should a member of the staff claim to be offended by such views."
Liberty Counsel, which in the past has defended Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Ky., clerk found in contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, said the doctor's situation illustrates the type of growing intolerance it warned about in the wake of Obergefell v. Hodges in June.
"Now, even a medical expert, speaking medical facts, citing the Centers for Disease Control's own body of research, is subject to attack, silencing, and removal from his position. The real problem here is that BIDMC leadership abandoned its medical and moral responsibility to encourage healthy behaviors, and instead has begun aggressively endorsing and promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender activities. The health risks of same-sex sexual conduct, especially men who have sex with men (the CDC refers to this category as MSM), are not in dispute among medical research," Liberty Counsel said Dec. 18.
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said the medical center was hiding from the facts.
"Anyone who cares about people, like Dr. Church, would publicize the known risks of homosexual activity. By attacking a messenger of truth, homosexual activists expose that they care more about their own political goals and personal feelings than they care about the well-being of people," Staver said.
Staver said Church is not listed as an employee of the hospital, but as a doctor with admitting privileges. This, under Title VII of the U.S. Code, does not offer him the same protections from illegal discrimination guaranteed to an employee.
However, Church told The College Fix he fully anticipates he will lose his appointment at Harvard University, as well, where he is assistant professor of surgery.