March 27 2017
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Civil Rights has a new leader: Roger Severino, until the appointment director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation. He previously worked as a lawyer for the Becket Fund, which defended the Little Sisters of the Poor when the Obama administration took the nuns court over their refusal to violate their consciences and pay for coverage of contraceptives and abortion-triggering drugs as required by the HHS contraceptive mandate.
Severino has deep roots in civil rights law in general, not only in religious liberty, but his critics are trying to claim that he made his name opposing the gender identity agenda, which is, after all, a fairly recent concern.
Still, as Redstate notes, Severino's appointment is causing "splody-heads:"
While at Heritage, Severino was a prolific writer and that is what is causing splody-heads. He is a defender of religious liberty. He believes there are only two sexes. Both of which make him anathema to “public health” professionals who generally believe religion is fine as long as you don’t practice it and that any sexual perversion should be honored. Of particular concern is the effort by HHS to impose upon the US healthcare system the same view of this “transgender” nonsense that Department of Education tried to impose upon our education system.
While the Trump administration suffered a major defeat on Capitol Hill last week, the administration does seem to be working hard to change the character of the federal bureaucracy. Severino's appointment is just the latest example of this.
You can read a selection of his writings here.