Christian employee fired over stand on trans surgery

A physician assistant, Valerie Kloosterman, was fired after she refused referrals for transgender surgery or use a pronoun that a patient prefers.

The sack action was described as a violation of the religious rights of the health worker, who has 17 years experience in the field.

Valerie Kloosterman was a physician assistant within the University of Michigan Health system in 2021 when she was required to undergo training that contained statements “concerning sexual orientation and gender identity that her Christian faith prohibited her from affirming,”

She is being represented by law firm, First Liberty Institute. The completion of her training needed her to check boxes with the statements and she had to ask for a religious accommodation from her supervisors. However, they refused her request.

She had met with the representatives of Human Resources and the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in July. They asked her if she could use “gender identity-based pronouns and be willing to refer patients for gender reassignment surgery.”

In her response, she said that she could not do so because of her religious beliefs and because of her independent medical judgment, but that she would use patients’ names in place of pronouns to respect their wishes.

Her response reportedly got the director of the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, angry.

A letter by First Liberty read, “He (director) grew hostile, visibly angry with tight fists and a flushed demeanor, and attacked her religious beliefs. He told Ms. Kloosterman that she could not take the Bible or her religious beliefs to work with her, either literally or figuratively; that given her religious beliefs against gender identity-based pronouns and ‘gender reassignment surgery,’ she was to blame for transgender suicides; and that she was ‘evil’ and abusing her power as a health care provider.”

The health worker got fired the next month.

The letter demands that Kloosterman be recalled to her job. There are plans to file a lawsuit in the federal court if she is not recalled.

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