Think Progress has reported that President Trump has chosen Roger Severino as the man who will head the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights. Severino is a fervent anti-LGBTQ activist, who has dedicated a lot of his career to doing what he can to derail the push for LGBTQ equality, leading to an outcry from civil rights groups who demand a recusal.
In 2016, Severino authored a report that criticized former President Obama’s ruling that prevented the health care system from discriminating against transgender patients. Sevrino said the decision would “penalize medical professionals and health care organizations that, as a matter of faith, moral conviction, or professional medical judgment, believe that maleness and femaleness are biological realities to be respected and affirmed, not altered or treated as diseases.”
“This appointment is yet another example of President Trump and Secretary Price’s increasingly long list of compromised nominees who have alarming conflicts of interest and, now, the opportunity to abuse their power guided by ideology, not law or fact,” writes Transgender Equality.
All the way back in 2007, Severino wrote “Or for Poorer? How Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Religious Liberty.” Need we say anymore? Probably not, but we will anyway. The piece claimed that the legalization of same-sex marriage would lead “both government compulsion of religious institutions to provide financial or other support for same‐sex married couples and government withdrawal of public benefits from those institutions that oppose same‐sex marriage.”
So, what does this all mean now that he is the head of the HHS office? For starters, he could potentially push to take apart the protections for LGBTQ citizens that are already in place, following the same path as many of the religious liberty laws have; basically giving healthcare providers the power to discriminate against LGBTQ people if servicing them would “clash” with their religion.
With yet another anti-LGBTQ appointment made, it’s clear that once again Trump has consistently been anti-LGBTQ, despite urging citizens that he wasn’t/isn’t. Anyone who still believes so is clearly living in a fantasy world.
You can read more about Severino’s anti-LGBTQ record which stretches back throughout his career, here.
h/t: Think Progress