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Trump Official Defends New Anti-LGBT ‘Religious Freedom’ Regulation – Says ‘Patients Want Doctors Who Match Their Values’

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The Trump administration’s top official behind a new regulation offering special religious rights to medical providers while harming LGBT people is defending the policy.

“Patients want doctors who match their values,” says Roger Severino (photo), the Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Severino, whose résumé includes positions at far right wing organizations, has a long history of publicly opposing transgender people.

The Trump administration on Thursday finalized the new regulation that allows medical professionals and organizations that receive federal funds to refuse service to anyone if they claim serving that person would violate their deeply-held religious beliefs.

Employers who receive complaints filed with the newly-created Conscience and Religious Freedom Division by employees could have their federal funding rescinded.

“Abortion rights and LGBT rights activists argue that the new rule will only make it harder for people seeking abortions and sex reassignment procedures to obtain that care, particularly in underserved, rural areas, where anti-abortion state laws already make accessing abortion services difficult,” Buzzfeed News reports.

“When asked what patients without many health care options were supposed to do if their hospital or health care provider refused to perform the procedures they were seeking, Severino repeatedly avoided the question, instead saying that the US had many health care options,” Buzzfeed adds.

Fenway Health, an organization that works to “enhance the wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community,” makes clear that this new Trump regulation “will make it harder for LGBT people to access health care.”

The new HHS regulation “asserts that protections for health care providers who refuse to provide services based on religious or moral belief are needed because there is ‘an environment of discrimination toward, and attempted coercion of, those who object to certain health care procedures based on religious beliefs or moral convictions,’ and because the number of complaints related to such discrimination that have been filed with the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has increased since November 2016,” Fenway notes, citing the Trump administration’s new rule.

President Trump announced the new policy Thursday during a White House event for the National Day of Prayer.

RELATED STORIES:

TRUMP CREATES NEW ‘CONSCIENCE AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DIVISION’ AT HHS TO SUPPORT DISCRIMINATION BY HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS

TRUMP ADMIN CREATING POLICY TO ALLOW HEALTH WORKERS WITH RELIGIOUS OR MORAL OBJECTIONS TO DISCRIMINATE

TRUMP PROMISED TO ‘FIGHT FOR’ LGBT PEOPLE BUT NOW HIS ADMINISTRATION IS WORKING TO DEMOLISH PROTECTIONS

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Supreme Court Blocks House Subpoena for Trump’s Financial Records – for Now

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The U.S. Supreme Court has just issued a temporary stay blocking a House subpoena that would require the release of President Donald Trump’s financial documents. Chief Justice John Roberts issued the order.

The stay is until “further order,” and allows time for both sides to submit arguments, according to Bloomberg News.

Calling it an “indefinite delay,” the Associated Press notes the “hold could last a matter of days or weeks,” if the Court decides to let two lower court rulings in favor of the House stand.

“But the delay could extend for months if the justices decide they need to hear arguments and issue a written opinion,” the AP adds.

Responses from both sides are due Thursday, according to this document posted by Axios:

 

 

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House Investigating if Trump Lied to Mueller

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The U.S. House of Representatives is investigating if President Donald Trump lied to Special Counsel Robert Mueller during his 22-month long Russia probe.

The Washington Post reports the attorney for the House revealed the existence of the investigation to a panel of judges. The House is arguing that it must be allowed to see secret grand-jury materials from Mueller’s investigation. The Dept. of Justice has been blocking that request after a lower court ordered the materials handed over to Congress.

The New York Times adds that the investigation is focused on the written answers Trump submitted to questions from the Special Counsel.

It is a crime to lie to the FBI or the DOJ.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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Three People Dead in Shooting at Oklahoma Walmart

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Three people were shot to death at a Duncan, Oklahoma Walmart, according to KOCO 5 News.

The Duncan Banner reports police have confirmed the shooting suspect is dead. It is currently unclear if they are included in the death toll.

A mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas left 20 people dead and dozens injured. It led the company in September to ask customers to cease open-carry of guns and announce it would stop the sale of many types of ammunition.

Just days later Walgreens and CVS pharmacies, and Kroger and Wegmans supermarkets announced they too were asking customers to no longer enter their stores openly-carrying guns.

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This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

 

Image by Ian Britton via Flickr and a CC license

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