Sunday, March 26, 2017

Trump Appoints LGBT Civil Rights Opponent to lead HHS Civil Rights Office

It seems as if not a day goes by when Der Trumpenführer isn't doing something to deliver on his promise to Christofascists to do all in his power to role back LGBT civil rights.  Yes, some times with the Russia treason investigations and the now failed Obamacare repeal effort dominating the news, these efforts get lost from the mainstream media's coverage.  That, however, doesn't mean that dangerous and insidious things are not happening.  A case in point is the appointment of anti-gay extremist Roger Severino to lead the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights.  Talk about putting the fox in charge of the hen house.  Nothing good can come of this appointment.  Meanwhile, "friends" who voted for Trump continue to have their heads up their ass and tell me that I have "nothing to worry about."  Think Progress looks at this disturbing development.  Here are excerpts:
Earlier this week, according to a statement by several progressive groups*, President Donald Trump appointed Roger Severino, a leading anti-LGBT activist, to lead the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights. In doing so, Trump potentially gives Severino an opportunity to dismantle civil rights protections he criticized as a staffer at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
In 2016, for example, Severino co-authored a Heritage report criticizing proposed Obama administration rules preventing discrimination against transgender patients within the health care system. Protecting trans people against such discrimination, Severino warned, 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.”
[I]n 2007, Severino published a law review article entitled “Or for Poorer? How Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Religious Liberty,” where he claimed that marriage equality would lead to “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.”
As the head of the HHS civil rights office, Severino will not only be able to push from within the department to dismantle existing protections for LGBT Americans, he could also potentially push for special rights for anti-LGBT employers and health providers — such as regulations explicitly permitting these employers and providers to engage in discrimination if they believe that their faith requires them to do so.   
Severino is cut from the same cloth as Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, who likewise believes that the myth and legend based religious sensibilities of Christian extremists out weigh the very real needs and civil rights of LGBT Americans - and countless women as well.  Again, nothing good will come form this appointment.

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