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HHS being sued over policy giving special religious rights to healthcare professionals over LGBT people and women

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The Trump administration’s Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) is facing two separate lawsuits just filed by the ACLU and by Planned Parenthood. The filings seek to strike down a new policy that would give people of faith special religious rights to discriminate, especially against LGBT people and women.

The new policy, slated to go into effect July 22, would provide “conscience protections” to health care workers and professionals. Those protections would allow, say, a doctor to not perform an abortion, even to save the life of a mother. They would allow, for example, a physician or nurse practitioner to reject a gay man on the grounds his very being violates their religious beliefs.

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Courthouse News’ Adam Klasfeld posted a portion of the lawsuit which says the Refusal of Care Rule would “allow almost any health care provider – including hospitals or individual workers in the health care setting … to refuse to provide, assist with, or refer for virtually any health service, based solely on a personal objection.”

The rule would also make it legal to withhold information from patients, and without telling them.

The new HHS rule is merely the extension of a Trump administration plan to decimate the rights of women and minorities, under the guise of religious freedom. It is being enacted by Roger Severino (photo), a far right wing religious extremist who now heads HHS’s Office for Civil Rights.

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News about the new rule first leaked in April.

“Patients want doctors who match their values,” Severino said, defending the proposed rule weeks later.

Severino once served as the CEO and counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a far right wing religious legal organization. He also worked for The Heritage Foundation, and for the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. The Human Rights Campaign has called him a “radical anti-LGBTQ activist.”

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In early 2018 Severino created the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in HHS’s Office of Civil Rights, in order to prioritize supposed cases of anti-religious discrimination among medical professionals.

“Severino is a defender of the discredited practice of conversion therapy, argued transgender service members ‘dishonors’ the military, and insisted that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is ‘based not on any sort of hatred but, in fact, out of love,'” GLAAD said in a statement at the time.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump just got busted for inflating his golf resorts’ value by $165 million — a jailable offense

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President Donald Trump appears to have misstated the value of his Scottish golf resorts by $165 million, an act which could potentially constitute a federal crime.

The controversy came to light after seemingly conflicting financial disclosure forms regarding the president's Aberdeen and Turnberry resorts in Scotland were submitted in the U.S. and the U.K., according to a new report by HuffPost.

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Rudy Giuliani accuses majority of US Jews of ‘disloyalty to Israel’ — and gets torn to pieces

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Rudy Giuliani appears on Fox News Sunday (Fox News/screen grab)

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday tried to clean up President Donald Trump's declaration that "any Jewish people" who vote for Democrats have "a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty."

Writing on Twitter, Giuliani explained that Trump wasn't saying Jewish Democrats were disloyal to America -- rather, he was saying they were being disloyal to Israel.

"Really disappointed a rep of ADL would feign confusion about [Trump's] statement," Giuliani said. "POTUS is referring to disloyalty to Israel."

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‘Where’s Steve?’ Trump notices a right-wing ally missing from CNN — and wants him back on TV

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President Donald Trump has been asking some of his administration officials why one of his favorite boosters has disappeared from CNN's airwaves.

Steve Cortes, a member of the Trump 2020 advisory board and a paid on-air CNN contributor, has reportedly been banished by the network's executives, and the president doesn't like it, reported The Daily Beast.

“Where’s Steve?” the president has repeatedly asked, according to two officials who overheard him in the White House.

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