Christian medical assistant sues Michigan Health for being fired after opposing trans procedures

A Christian woman in Michigan, who served for 17 years as a medical assistant for Michigan Health, filed a lawsuit against her former employer last week after they fired her because of her “sincere religious beliefs” regarding to the genre.

“I’m heartbroken,” Valerie Kloosterman told Fox News Digital. “I spent 17 years with patients and families, colleagues with whom I sometimes spent more time than with my own family. And they took them away. They took away the relationships I had built and the people who trusted me. for their care “.

“It was about something that could have easily been fixed based on the University of Michigan’s focus on being inclusive,” added Kloosterman.

University of Michigan Health-West (UMH-West) reportedly fired Kloosterman in 2021 after seeking religious housing that exempted her from having to use transgender pronouns or refer patients for transgender surgical procedures and drugs, which she claims violate her Faith teachings. Christian. She stated that while she was expected to state such things in theory, she had never encountered a situation with a patient that would require her to do so.

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Valerie Kloosterman told Fox News Digital she was “heartbroken” about being fired after objecting to UMH-West’s gender policies.
(First Freedom Institute)

First Liberty Institute attorneys representing Kloosterman sent a letter to UMH-West last month asking for his reinstatement, but on October 11 they filed a lawsuit against the nonprofit healthcare system after he didn’t respond.

“The defendants targeted Ms. Kloosterman for dismissal because she requested housing for her religious beliefs,” her lawyers said in the complaint. “Defendants also violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, incorporated against states via the Fourteenth Amendment, when they granted secular accommodations to other employees regarding common drugs and medical procedures without granting Ms. Kloosterman religious housing as far as it largely concerns rarer drugs and medical procedures. “

“There was mandatory training that all employees had to go through with a multitude of questions,” explained Kloosterman of the initial incident that led to his firing.

“Two of the questions from that year were very specific in confirming that gender was fluid and I had to check the box. It was not an option for me to express my concerns and I could not complete this mandatory test without answering that question on in. way they wanted me to do based on the belief of the university, so I raised my concerns, “he continued.

Kloosterman said that after going to her supervisory provider office manager with her objections, she was forwarded to the UMH-West Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), which allegedly resulted in to a tense encounter.

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“I have said that I am a Christian, which means that I am a Christian medical assistant, and I cannot answer these questions in good conscience to God and understanding the harm it can do to my patients; this is not fair,” said Kloosterman. of his conversation with DEI.

“The meeting has become hostile,” Kloosterman said. “I was called evil. I was called a liar. And with much compassion I expressed to God my view of what my concern was medically from my medical judgment, as well as in good conscience, and not I would never have been asked to compromise my faith in order to do my job. “

UMH-West, pictured here, allegedly fired Kloosterman in 2021 after seeking religious accommodation that would exempt her from having to affirm transgender ideology.

UMH-West, pictured here, allegedly fired Kloosterman in 2021 after seeking religious accommodation that would exempt her from having to affirm transgender ideology.
(First Freedom Institute)

Kloosterman said she was “stunned” by the response from the organization which publicly prides itself on being inclusive and said that her meeting with DEI quickly became “very personal” and that they obviously weren’t interested in having a dialogue with her.

“Even when the meeting was over, I said, ‘Let’s talk about this, let’s continue this discussion,'” Kloosterman said. “I was promised they would, and after that I heard nothing more than during my final meeting.”

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Kloosterman said that when she was finally fired, she tearfully greeted colleagues she had known for many years and whose children had grown up with hers. She said that many of her colleagues have expressed support in private, but that they have probably been left in the dark as to the reasons behind her firing her.

When contacted for comment by Fox News Digital regarding Kloosterman’s case, a spokesperson for UMH-West said, “The University of Michigan Health-West is committed to providing appropriate medical care to all patients and respects the religious beliefs of her employees. We are confident that Ms. Kloosterman’s claims, like those she presented to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, are groundless. “

A protester holds the trans flag and snaps in solidarity with other speakers during a rally at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on June 25, 2021.

A protester holds the trans flag and snaps in solidarity with other speakers during a rally at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on June 25, 2021.
(Stephen Zenner / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

Kloosterman said she was particularly hurt by the way UMH-West would take a hypothetical situation and turn it to misrepresent its stance against transgender procedures as anything other than an attempt to be compassionate, support its own. religious beliefs and fulfill his Hippocratic oath of “do no harm”. . “

“I cry less often, but the tears keep coming,” she said.

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Kloosterman said that while his Christian faith has been tested by his ordeal, it remains strong.

“I simply pray that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart will be pleasing to God, that God will be glorified in this and that his truth will be heard,” he said. “Nobody has to compromise their faith for their work.”

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