Dr. Rachel Levine should not become an assistant secretary of health because she is transgender. Nor should she be precluded from serving in that position because she is transgender.
The only issue before the Senate should be Dr. Levine’s qualifications. With years of successful public service she is eminently qualified for the post.
Dr. Levine’s qualifications do not matter according to Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel and American Family Association. Both organizations are anti-LGBTQ hate groups.
The founder of a legal firm that advances religious freedom by advocating, supporting, advancing, and defending the good news about Jesus Christ agrees with the conservatives who are urging the Senate to not confirm Dr. Rachel Levine, born Richard Levine, as assistant secretary of health at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Mad Mat Staver makes even less sense when quoted directly:
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, is among the many conservatives encouraging the Senate to reject President Biden’s nominee. Staver does not think someone in Levine’s situation should be in a position to do things that will “damage health by taking sex hormones and so much more.”
“Someone in Levine’s situation?” What this translates to — in the complete absence of a meaningful rationale — is: “I do not approve of transgender people. Therefore, Dr. Levine should be denied a post regardless of her qualifications.”
Staver is a reliable anti-LGBTQ bigot. There is a reason that Liberty Counsel is deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The ellipses in the following quote are per the original:
“Moreover, during the questioning by Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Dr. Levine refused to comment regarding Senator Paul’s very serious question about whether or not Dr. Levine supports and would literally even promote young children having the right to be able to take hormone-blocking medications, opposite sex hormones, and even go through surgery that is life changing,” Staver continues. “[Levine] refused to comment and … instead, had some answer that was along the lines of, Well, Senator, if you would like to come by my office, we can have more conversations about this.”
Rand Paul asked a closed question; one that calls for a yes or no answer. Dr. Levine correctly explained that transgender medicine is a complex subject requiring a conversation.
Dr. Levine is a Harvard graduate. She knows when she is being played and Paul was begging the question. She made the wise decision not to take the bait.
Those are not rights, as Paul stated, but medical decisions made by a team of qualified clinicians in concert with parents. Moreover, Paul was being dishonest by implying that children are candidates for surgery. Mat Staver is repeating that dishonesty.
Staver tries again but he only demonstrates his ignorance and bigotry:
“This is the Department of Health and Human Services,” he stresses. “You don’t play with children’s health and futures because you have some confusion, and we certainly don’t want someone who is confused about their own gender and sexuality in a position as high in importance as this one is with the Health and Human Services Department.”
The simple response to the above stupidity is that we want people at HHS who respect the science over any doctrine. According to that science, Dr. Levine is not “confused” about anything. She has a medical condition that has been understood by medical science for over a century. Her medical condition has no bearing on what she will be tasked to do.
Mad Mat Staver is simply repeating his bigotry. In essence he is saying “I do not approve of transgender people for religious reasons.” At the same time Staver is dishonestly attempting to cloak his disapproval in a supposedly secular argument.
All things considered, Staver believes Levine’s nomination was an ideological move meant to placate to radical public interest organizations that are pressuring Joe Biden to push “this radical LGBTQ agenda.”
Religious extremists have a tendency to claim that anything they disapprove of is part of a radical agenda. The radical agenda is found in the desire to impose Christian fanaticism and Christian nationalism on society.
Get a load of this crew:
The other conservatives asking senators to reject the nomination include American Family Association President Tim Wildmon, former Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America, Anne Schlafly Cori of Eagle Forum, and Seton Motley of Less Government.
Seton Motley is the least well known of those above. He is perhaps best known for his opposition to net neutrality (with some rather odd arguments). He had a website at StopNetRegulation.org which is now dead.