David Crary, reporting last week for The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Voting mostly along party lines, the U.S. Senate has confirmed
former Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine to be the
nation’s assistant secretary of health. She is the first openly
transgender federal official to win Senate confirmation.
The final vote Wednesday was 52-48. Republican Sens. Lisa
Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine joined all
Democrats in supporting Levine.
Levine had been serving as Pennsylvania’s top health official
since 2017, and emerged as the public face of the state’s response
to the coronavirus pandemic. She is expected to oversee Health and
Human Services offices and programs across the U.S.
It takes courage and a thick skin to be a trailblazer like Levine. She’s more than qualified for this position — the votes against her are as shameful as they are transparent. I’m so proud that she’s from Pennsylvania.
President Biden, today:
Today, we honor and celebrate the achievements and resiliency of
transgender individuals and communities. Transgender Day of
Visibility recognizes the generations of struggle, activism, and
courage that have brought our country closer to full equality for
transgender and gender non-binary people in the United States and
around the world. Their trailblazing work has given countless
transgender individuals the bravery to live openly and
authentically. This hard-fought progress is also shaping an
increasingly accepting world in which peers at school, teammates
and coaches on the playing field, colleagues at work, and allies
in every corner of society are standing in support and solidarity
with the transgender community.
Living openly and authentically shouldn’t require bravery. Today it does; someday, it won’t.
★ Wednesday, 31 March 2021