The Trump administration is set to allow health workers to reject transgender patients.
Under the proposed new rule, medical staff would be permitted to cite their religion as a reason to refuse treatment of any kind to trans people, according to Politico.
The move would also protect health workers who don’t want to perform abortions.
The US is currently embroiled in a battle between so-called religious liberty and LGBT people that centres on whether homophobic Christians should have the ability to discriminate against gay people.
In that vein, Trump has created Religious Freedom Day, in a presidential proclamation issued yesterday that constituted a clear assault on LGBT rights.
Just last month, his administration told the Supreme Court that it should be acceptable for businesses to put up signs denying service to same-sex couples.
And now, it seems, Trump’s government is moving into a new, dangerous territory with its insistence that Christians shouldn’t have to help LGBT people.
The Health and Human Services’ civil rights division is run by Roger Severino, a Trump appointee who has repeatedly spoken out in favour of religious groups’ rights over those of LGBT people.
He made these views clear in a 2016 report for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank which held the second anti-LGBT summit that Trump spoke at last year.
Severino and a co-author wrote: “On the basis of religious teachings, moral reasoning, scientific evidence, and medical experience, many have strong grounds to hold that one’s sex is an immutable characteristic.
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“Many involved in providing medical care and those enrolled in health insurance plans have serious objections to participating in or paying for sex-reassignment surgeries or gender transitions.”
The Democratic National Committee has condemned the proposed rule as “unethical and dangerous”.
In a joint statement, director of women’s media Elizabeth Renda and director of LGBTQ media Lucas Acosta said: “Once again, women and the LGBTQ community are under attack from the Trump-Pence administration.
“Days before the anniversary of the Women’s March, Republicans are giving health workers a license to discriminate against women and members of the LGBTQ community.
“It wasn’t enough to try to strip transgender Americans of their right to serve, roll back access to birth control, and attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.
“Now Trump, Pence, and their Republican cronies want to allow health care workers to discriminate and rip away access to medical care,” they continued.
“This rule is unethical and dangerously undermines public health.
“This proposal is further proof that Republicans continue to push forward an agenda completely out of step with the American people and American ideals.
“Democrats will continue to focus on how to improve access to health care for all Americans regardless of gender, orientation, or income.”