A federal judge in Texas stated that employers should not be forced to cover PrEP medication if it violates the company’s religious beliefs.

The ruling concluded that providing the drugs makes company owners “complicit in facilitating homosexual behaviour”.

US district judge Reed O’Connor made the judgement on 7 September.

He ruled in favour of Braidwood Management, a Christian-owned company based in Texas, which argued it was not required to cover the costs of two PrEP drugs, Truvada and Descovy.

Legal experts, such as Chris Geidner, noted that O’Connor has a history of “anti-LGBTQ rulings, both as to marriage and Title IX’s sex discrimination ban,” he explained in a Twitter thread following the ruling.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans take the drugs everyday, as they are used to prevent HIV transmission.

The medication is made available through company health insurance plans, per the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The lawsuit was filed by the state’s former solicitor general, Jonathan Mitchell on behalf of Braidwood Management.

Mitchell is known to be very conservative, and designed Texas’s intensely restrictive abortion laws.

Against them was the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Judge O’Connor stated the ACA violated the religious beliefs of Braidwood Management “by making them complicit in facilitating homosexual behaviour, drug use, and sexual activity outside of marriage between one man and woman.”

In 2018, O’Connor issued a ruling that stated the ACA was unconstitutional.

It was overruled by the supreme court and upheld the ACA in 2021.