Monday, October 22, 2018

The Trump/Severino transagenda

An obvious effort to float an anti-trans policy proposal before the midterms.
Roger Severino
Roger Severino is the anti-choice, anti-LGBT devout Catholic lawyer who is the director of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at HHS.
Image via YouTube
The venerable New York Times has a draft of a memo from the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services. According to the Times:
The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a governmentwide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.
In other words, according to the memo draft, gender is a synonym for natal sex and does not exist as a separate construct. Obviously this does not have roots in medical science. This reflects conservative Christian “thinking” regarding human sexuality.

The first question that I have is: How and why does the New York Times have a copy of this memo? Is the source a dissident member of the office who is seeking to air a pernicious potential policy? In the alternative, was the memo provided as part of an effort to get evangelical voters to the polls?

The simple fact is that our government has become as cynical as Trump. Trump's only interest is Trump — America be damned. If he thinks that word of this policy will motivate conservative Christians to vote then he is all for it. Those conservative Christians are equally cynical. They got what they wanted. They have turned a blind eye to Trump's sociopathy in order to get two seats on the Supreme Court.

Roger Severino, director of OCR has a different agenda. In spite of his J.D. from Harvard, he is a Defender of the Faith™. Severino has already transformed OCR into The Office of Christian Rights where those “rights” are usually defined as a license to discriminate against LGBT people.

Were the policy outlined in the memo implemented, the intent is to remove any and all federal protections for transgender people in order to conform our policies to Christian dogma. It is blatant recognition of religion in defiance of the Establishment Clause. In effect it is Christian Nationalism.

There exists a handful of doctors at the fringes of their profession who deny the reality of gender. It's the same fringe that promotes conversion therapy. In the mainstream, medical science overwhelmingly supports the fact that gender is separate from natal sex and is incongruent with natal sex in a small percentage of the population

Mr. Severino has also stated:
The radical left is using government power to coerce everyone, including children, into pledging allegiance to a radical new gender ideology over and above their right to privacy, safety, and religious freedom.
The term gender ideology is Church-speak. It is also meaningless. Gender is neither a philosophy nor doctrine. A good example of an ideology is the acceptance of Church dogma over medical science. He has also said, along the same lines that being gay is a character flaw. It is not surprising that Severino promotes conversion therapy. This all aligns with the Church's “objectively disordered” BS.

Therefore, if this new policy is for real; if our federal government attempts to implement the notion that two plus two equals seven then Severino is a long way from finished. We have lost the federal courts. Trump has packed them with religious ideologues. The only control that we have left is our vote. If this was an attempt to get Christians to the polls it could easily backfire if we are smart and determined.

Control of the House means control of the money. It also means subpoena and investigative power. If we somehow get control of the Senate, we stop Trump's designs on the federal judiciary which are really those of conservative Christian pressure groups.

Either way, the next two years are going to be awful. They will be less awful if we take control of Congress. LGBT citizens will at least have a chance for decency.

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