October 22, 2018 Press Release

Meet Roger Severino, the Trump Appointee Attempting to Erase Trans Individuals

10.22.18 – As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the Trump administration’s cruel push to define transgender individuals out of existence has been spearheaded by Roger Severino, a longtime conservative activist who heads the Office of Conscience and Religious Freedom (OCR) at HHS, an office that was only just recently formed under the current administration.

Equity Forward has long been sounding the alarm on OCR and Severino specifically; in fact, Equity Forward filed a lawsuit earlier this year requesting records from OCR amid reports that Severino was working to rewrite a federal rule that protects transgender people from discrimination in health care.  In light of this lawsuit, Equity Forward has received some records from OCR and is currently planning additional Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Severino — and today’s revelation — are both illustrative of a wholesale redesign of HHS that’s been taking place under the Trump administration, elevating an out-of-touch, politically motivated ideology over basic facts and evidence that comes the expense of women and LGBTQ people in America.  Across the department, the Trump administration has appointed a group of unqualified and politically motivated ideologues to run HHS.  These appointees are unqualified to run the programs they are tasked with overseeing and are endangering the millions of women, men and families who rely on the department’s programs.