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House LGBT Caucus Denounces Trump Appointment of Anti-Transgender Advocate Roger Severino

Mar 23, 2017
Press Release

1727 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515

Date: March 23, 2017      Contact:  Roddy Flynn, (202) 226-7572


House LGBT Caucus Denounces Trump Appointment of Anti-Transgender Advocate Roger Severino

Washington, D.C. -- The Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus denounced President Donald Trump's appointment of Roger Severino as the head of the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Appointing Roger Severino is another warning shot to those of us fighting for civil rights in the Trump era,” said Transgender Equality Task Force Chair Joe Kennedy III (MA-04).  “Mr. Severino has built a career on demonizing the transgender community, stoking fear about transgender identity, and -- in particular -- undermining equal access to health care. It's clear the President has no intention of keeping the promises he made to LGBTQ Americans.

“In the midst of our fight to defend the Affordable Care Act, this appointment only energizes our opposition to Trump Care,” Kennedy continued.  “The ACA has provided lifesaving access to health care for transgender people, who face much higher rates of poverty and income instability.  A vote to gut both the ACA and Medicaid would compound the inequities the Trump Administration is already placing on the shoulders of transgender Americans.  This Task Force will hold them accountable every step of the way.”

Severino, the former head of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation, has been a longtime opponent of transgender equality in health care, military service, and access to public accommodations, referring to transgender nondiscrimination protections as a "radical social experiment." 

In 2015, during President Barack Obama's administration, the Department of Health and Human Services promulgated a rule pursuant to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act ensuring that individuals cannot be denied access to health care or health coverage or otherwise be subject to discrimination because of their gender identity.

Please contact Roddy Flynn at 202-257-8416 or with press inquiries.

The mission of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus is to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. The bi-partisan LGBT Equality Caucus is strongly committed to achieving the full enjoyment of human rights for LGBT people in the U.S. and around the world. By serving as a resource for Members of Congress, their staff, and the public on LGBT issues, the Caucus works toward the extension of equal rights, the repeal of discriminatory laws, the elimination of hate-motivated violence, and the improved health and wellbeing for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.