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Murray Slams Trump Administration for “Appalling,” Anti-LGBTQ Pick to Lead HHS Civil Rights Office

(Washington, D.C.) – Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today issued the following statement on the Trump Administration’s decision to appoint Roger Severino, Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS):  


“I am deeply troubled but unfortunately not surprised to learn of this appalling hire by the Trump Administration,” said Senator Patty Murray. “Not only is this a stark example of the concerning employment decisions and hiring practices being established by this Administration, but it speaks volumes to their broader failure to uphold and protect civil rights, particularly when it comes to the LGBTQ community. Secretary Price has an obligation to fight discrimination in all lifesaving programs administered by the Department and to ensure that political appointees and career employees are truly committed to carrying out the responsibilities of the agency to protect and serve all Americans—and I will do everything I can to make sure he is held accountable.”  


Roger Severino is the former Director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation and was the Chief Operations Officer and Legal Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. In these roles, he has fought against transgender equality in health care, against the separation of church and state, and in support of defunding Planned Parenthood.