Under the influence of the Biden-Harris Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has implemented a new directive for its staff, compelling them to adhere to the preferred gender pronouns of individuals experiencing gender dysphoria.
To Gender or Not To Gender….
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services imposed a transgender pronoun mandate on its employees last month, week with new guidance that instructs employees to affirm any co-worker’s self-proclaimed gender identity and preferred pronouns.
HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine, who is “an out and proud transgender woman” according to the video announcement, said this policy ensures that “all HHS employees, including transgender and nonbinary employees, have equal protections in the workplace.”
“All supervisors and managers are responsible for helping to ensure it is fully implemented across all [operating divisions] and [staff divisions],” Levine said.
A former HHS official and a Heritage Foundation expert argued that the new policy infringes on the rights of federal employees and may result in terminations for “misgendering.”
Roger Servino, former head of civil rights at HHS during the Trump administration and now the Vice President for domestic policy at the Heritage Foundation, voiced concerns stating, “HHS and the federal government are requiring its employees to speak falsehoods.”
Servino initially revealed this development in early October, emphasizing the imposition of a transgender pronoun mandate on HHS employees and urging those with faith objections to seek religious accommodation.
In an interview with Fox News, Servino highlighted the potential violation of the First Amendment, stating that federal employees should be protected from being forced to express falsehoods or adopt government-fostered ideologies contrary to their religious beliefs.
He noted that the push for such policies began with President Biden’s executive orders in January 2021 and June 2022 to combat “gender discrimination” based on “gender identity.”
Servino pointed out specific challenges in HHS locker rooms and restrooms, expressing concerns about potential discomfort for women in such situations.
He argued that the policy now places the burden on women to leave if they are uncomfortable with men who identify as female sharing these spaces.
The email read in part:
“It calls for streamlined ability to update names in HHS IT systems, outlining how transgender e(mployees) change their names in their official records. The guidance also makes clear that all employees should be ad(dressed by) the names and pronouns they use to describe themselves, clarifying that employees can wear clothing and (use) restrooms in accordance with their gender identity.”
Referencing the case of West Virginia vs. Barnette, which upheld the right to dissent, Servino emphasized that governments cannot compel false speech, drawing parallels to the requirement for students to recite the pledge of allegiance.
He emphasized that employees have the right to their faith, and employers cannot force them to deny their faith as a condition of employment.
Servino advocated for employees facing a dilemma, torn between keeping a low profile to retain their jobs or standing up against the policy and potentially facing consequences.
With transgender Rachel L. Levine leading as the Assistant Secretary for Health and Secretary Xavier Becerra’s influence, such a move has been anticipated since 2021.
Erin Brewer, co-founder of Partners for Ethical Care, expressed concern about having someone in charge of health and human services who seemingly lacks a basic understanding of biology and the importance of aligning the brain with the body in cases of a disconnect between the two.
Neither the email nor the video explained how the policy would be enforced or whether employees would be subject to disciplinary action if they violate the new policy.
HHS employs about 80,000 people in the United States and abroad. Its central office is in Washington, D.C., and it also has 10 regional offices.
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