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Rachel Levine confirmed as U.S. Asst. Secretary for Health

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Dr. Rachel Levine was confirmed as the U.S. Asst. Secretary for Health on Wendesday, March 24. She is the first out transgender person to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate and the highest-ranking out trans person to serve in the federal government.

“At a time when hateful politicians are weaponizing trans lives for their own perceived political gain, Dr. Levine’s confirmation lends focus to the contributions trans people make to our nation and deflates absurd arguments calling for their exclusion,” said Anise Parker, president of LGBTQ Victory Fund. “Her experience leading the health department in Pennsylvania will serve our country well and her unique perspective regarding healthcare for trans people will be invaluable.”

“Dr. Levine is a world-class public health expert who’s leadership and determination throughout the Covid-19 crisis saved countless lives and informed millions, but also drew some of the nastiest rhetoric from elected officials,” said Brian Sims, an out gay state representative from Levine’s home state of Pennsylvania. “Her unstoppable combination of expertise, compassion, integrity and authenticity make her a public servant that few can compare to and I’m beyond grateful she’s chosen a life of service.”

“As a transgender person, I am encouraged by her success and proud to see so many transgender people stepping up to dedicate their experience and expertise to public service.  I look forward to the day when every young person can grow up knowing that every path is open to them and that they will not be held back or limited simply because of who they are.” said National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Legal Director Shannon Minter.

According to The Washington Post, Levine was confirmed in a 52-48 vote, with Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) joining all Democrats and independents in voting for Levine.

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