Boston doctor loses appeal, terminated for sharing 'undisputable' evidence homosexuality is harmful

by Tobin Perry, |
Jaiy Dickson of Boston helps carry a rainbow flag as she marches during the Gay Pride Parade in Boston. Dr. Paul Church was fired for expressing concern that Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center promoted the parade, which he believed celebrated an immoral and unhealthy lifestyle. | REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

BOSTON (Christian Examiner)—Dr. Paul Church has lost his final appeal in his effort to keep his hospital admission privileges at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center [BIDMC] in Boston after being disciplined for expressing medical concerns over the hospital's ongoing promotion of homosexual behavior.

It's one thing to promote non-discrimination. It's another thing to promote conduct that is actually harmful to the patients that the medical center serves.

The decision by the hospital's board of directors ends a 10-year battle between Church and the hospital's administration over his express of medical concerns relating to homosexuality.

"When [Church] got disciplined over this, he didn't get disciplined because there was no medical science on this," Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, told the Christian Examiner. "It's indisputable. He's just reciting statistics that come out annually from the Center for Disease Control, which is a federal agency, as well as other research. But he got disciplined because the medical center did not want to hear that message, and they wanted to promote a pro-LGBT message."

Church had served on the staff of the hospital for 28 years.

According to the conflict began in 2004 when Church challenged the hospital to address the health risks associated with promiscuity and sexual practices among gay men. Church, a urologist who is on the faculty of Harvard Medical Center, also objected to the hospital's continued involvement in Boston's Gay Pride parade, which celebrates the gay lifestyle. Church offered an "opposing viewpoint" for a 2011 hospital video promoting the parade. After forming a review committee to examine Church's conduct, the hospital said that he had violated the hospital's harassment policies. The hospital then ordered him to cease sharing his views about sexual orientation with fellow staff members.

Church, 65, posted three comments about the hospital's involvement in the annual Gay Pride parade on an internal hospital website in 2013 and 2014. Two of the comments included biblical references to admonitions against homosexuality. Saying he violated the order not to share his views, the hospital dismissed him. The hospital rejected Church's final appeal this month.

"It's one thing to promote non-discrimination," Staver said. "It's another thing to promote conduct that is actually harmful to the patients that the medical center serves."

According to Staver, homosexual and bisexual men have a significantly elevated chance of becoming infected by sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

Because of how he says the hospital turned its back on medical research, Staver believes this particular case could have a far-reaching impact on the medical community.

"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," said a Liberty Counsel press release. "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."

Church's Christian convictions have led him to participate in medical missions throughout his career. He frequently volunteers his time to serve the healthcare needs of the poor in Mexico. He most recently returned from a mission project in Liberia.

Church plans to continue his medical practice elsewhere.