BOSTON — A Massachusetts urologist has been expelled by a Boston hospital for making statements on an internal online portal expressing concern about the health dangers of same-sex sexual activity.
Dr. Paul Church serves as a urology professor at Harvard University and also has admitting privileges at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he has seen patients for nearly the past 30 years. He also has participated in medical missions outreaches in Mexico and Africa.
For over the past decade, Church has expressed concern to his colleagues about the hospital’s promotion of homosexual events. He has commented both via email and on the hospital’s internal portal that it is improper to promote lifestyles that are contrary to the goals of the healthcare community, and has been met with allegations that his comments constitute “discrimination and harassment” and are “offensive to BIDMC staff.”
“The evidence is irrefutable that behaviors common within the homosexual community are unhealthy and high risk for a host of serious medical consequences, including STD’s, HIV and AIDS, anal cancer, hepatitis, parasitic intestinal infections, and psychiatric disorders,” Church wrote on the portal on one occasion, according to reports.
“Life expectancy is significantly decreased as a result of HIV/AIDS, complications from the other health problems, and suicide. This alone should make it reprehensible to the medical community, who has an obligation to promote and model healthy behaviors and lifestyles,” he said.
According to reports, in 2011, after being told that he would be subjected to an investigation if he does not resign, Church received a letter from a peer review committee demanding that discontinue providing his “opinion about sexual orientation, homosexuality, or other protected status.”
Church in turn asked that he discontinue receiving the hospital’s emails promoting homosexual pride events, but when he continued to receive the notices more frequently, he again spoke out. One comment was posted in 2013, and two in 2014.
“Celebrating sexual perversions is highly inappropriate, especially in the context of a medical center that should be aware of the negative health consequences of high risk behaviors,” Church wrote in 2013. “It also ignores and dishonors the religious convictions and moral objections that many members of the hospital community share who are opposed to these behaviors.”
In 2014, he simply responded with a reference to a Bible verse, pointing to Leviticus 18:22 on one occasion and Romans 1:26-28 on another.
In September 2014, a formal investigation was launched against Church, and findings were turned over to a 25-member Medical Executive Committee for consideration. In March, the committee decided to expel Church for his “unsolicited views about homosexuality that were offensive to BIDMC Staff” and for violating the hospital’s discrimination policy.
Church appealed the expulsion, but it was upheld this month by the panel. He is now facing a final ruling from the hospital’s board of directors.
“The hospital is using the serious expulsion procedure against Dr. Church that’s normally used against physicians who abuse patients or commit some kind of malpractice,” the group Mass Resistance, which has been closely following the case, outlined in an update. “Its case is built on a strange dictum that nothing can be posted internally that ‘could offend’ any staff member.”
“But at that same time, the hospital continued to email Dr. Church their pro-LGBT material, even after he asked to be taken off the list, which he (and others) said they found to be offensive,” it continued. “The hospital sees no contradiction at all. This is the brave new world we are entering.”
The legal group Liberty Counsel is representing Church and is considering the doctor’s options.
“This needs to be a wake-up call for America,” attorney Richard Mast told reporters. “What we see being enacted in corporate America is vague terms like labeling something ‘offensive’ is grounds for being fired. We’re seeing deligitimized expressions of religious beliefs. … Rather than disagreeing with ideas, [corporate America] is characterizing the expression of a Christian worldview as offensive, hateful and hurtful, effectively enacting gag orders across corporate America for religious beliefs.”