The Assistant Secretary for HHS is transgender pediatrician Rachel Levine, who has used the platform of the federal government position to advocate for sex changes for children. Levine said child sex changes, including puberty blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries are "medically necessary, safe and effective."
An email sent out by HHS, obtained and posted by the Heritage Foundation's Roger Severino, shows the "streamlined" guidance from HHS. The subject line of the email reads: "HHS Gender Non-Discrimination and Inclusion Policy."
"Happy National Coming Out Day!" The email begins, acknowledging one of the dozens of specialized days on the annual calendar specifically set aside for the recognition of the LGBTQIA+ community.
"When individuals bring their whole selves to work, all of us at HHS thrive. We want to ensure that HHS continues [to be a] welcoming, supportive environment where all employees feel safe and seen, including transgender and non-binary employees," it reads.
"Today," the email continues, "we are proud to announce a new HHS Gender Identity Non-Discrimination and Inclusion Guidance that outlines employees rights and protections related to gender identity."
"This policy outlines the protections in place [when] employees undergo workplace changes, such as legal name changes, and provides workplace procedures safeguard[ing] gender all employees' gender expressions," it reads, though part of the screenshot is cut off.
"This policy also provides department-level coordination for EEO procedures across HHS. It calls for streamlined ability to update names in HHS IT systems, outlines how transgender employees change their names in their official records. The guidance also makes clear that all employees should be addressed by the names and pronouns they use to describe themselves, clarifying that employees can wear clothing and [use] restrooms in accordance with their gender identity."
HHS shares a video message from Andrea Palm, Deputy Secretary at HHS, and from Levine, in honor of National Coming Out Day, designated as October 11. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also has honored the day in the past, treating the White House press corps to the story of her own coming out as a lesbian.
The video, shared along with the email, further explains why HHS officials believe it is in the nation's best interests for their employees to be compelled to use preferred pronouns, even if it goes against their own personal beliefs.
"HHS is proud of the richness and diversity of our workforce," Palm begins. "You are a source of unmatched talent and strength for each of our divisions. We want to attact, engage and retain the best talent, and we recognize that inclusive work environments facilitate a plethora of ideas, perspectives and viewpoints that lead to creativity and innovation."
"Today, HHS is announcing a new Gender Identity Non-Discrimination and Inclusion Guidance to ensure that our colleagues are able to show up every day as their whole selves. I want to say clearly to every one of you: Who you are and who you know yourself to be is valid. We want you to be your authentic self every day, regardless of your gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, or disability status," Palm said.
Cheryl Campbell, the Assistant Secretary for Administration at HHS, gave remarks as well, saying that "The HHS Gender Identity Non-Discrimination and Inclusion Guidance sets forth essential protections related to gender identity, emphasizing the principles of fairness, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of our work."
Levine spoke last, saying "The Gender Identity Non-Discrimination and Inclusion Guidance is very important,& and all supervisors and managers are responsible for helping to ensure it is fully implemented across all opdivs and staffdivs.
"Every one of us can play a role in creating a welcoming workplace. Every one of you can make a difference in improving the feelings of inclusion for your coworkers. Thank you for helping make HHS such a welcoming and affirming workplace," Levine concluded.
The National Institutes of Health has also issued guidance to "help facilitate inclusive, affirming, and welcoming workplace environments."
The Biden adminstration has been very gung-ho about making sure they hire and promote people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, non-binary, or count themselves among the dozens of other alternate or divergent sexual and gender identities. Indeed, this has been a key part of Biden's hiring strategy.
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