IoSonoUnaFotoCamera / Flickr Trump...
IoSonoUnaFotoCamera / Flickr

The lovely people in charge of Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services Department aren’t content only to create a division to protect people who want to discriminate on the job. No, Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, took it that next step further to be sure we’d remember it was the Trump administration doing this. Severino compared people who don’t want to provide health care for transgender people or women who’ve had abortions to … Martin Luther King Jr. and Holocaust victims:

Severino said he first became “aware of the notion” of conscience protection when he saw a book on the Holocaust.

“There was one photograph in particular, which was an outline that looked like a footprint, and there was writing in Hebrew,” Severino said. “And when I looked on the caption, it said it was a cutout of a shoe insole that the Nazis had forced Jews to wear on their shoes, so that every step they took, they will be violating their conscience.”

“I could see the common humanity of why if somebody’s forced to violate their conscience in every step they take, how it’s an attack, really, on their human dignity,” he continued.
Severino then invoked King’s letter from a Birmingham jail, and made the comparison explicit by adding, “And now we’ve come to today. Where we see that health care, especially with the Office of Civil Rights at HHS, is the next area where the issues of conscience and the issues of life and death are coming to the fore.”

Yes, not being allowed to discriminate is just like the Holocaust. 

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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