The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is enforcing a mandate on the correct use of pronouns as part of its ‘gender inclusion guidance.’
It dictates that all HHS employees should be addressed by the names and pronouns they use to describe themselves.
There has been no mention of accommodating or exempting employees who have religious objections to the policy.
The vice president of the conservative Heritage Foundation Roger Severino noted that HHS department staff will now be forced to deny biological realities with their own words or face being fired.
He urged those with faith objections to immediately request a religious accommodation and prepare to fight for their First Amendment rights.
Mr. Severino told the Catholic News Agency (CNA) that the new policy will be used to target Christian employees.
He asserted that the Biden administration has made it abundantly clear that it prioritises gender ideology over free speech and religious freedom rights.
The Heritage Foundation vice president also said there are constitutional complications with the policy. “Under the First Amendment, the department cannot compel people to speak falsehoods. It also cannot compel people to adopt as their own, a state-approved ideology. And it cannot require people of faith to deny their faith with their own lips,” Mr. Severino told the CNA.
“People should be prepared to file lawsuits to indicate their free speech and religious liberty rights and people of faith should flood the HHS with religious accommodations requests and be prepared to defend themselves and their faith from this attack,” he added.