A physician’s assistant in Michigan is suing the University of Michigan Health-West Hospital — citing wrongful termination due to her Christian faith and refusal to use transgender pronouns or refer patients for “gender reassignment” procedures.
According to the lawsuit, Valerie Kloosterman worked at the Hospital, formerly known as Metropolitan Hospital, for 17 years and never “used pronouns contrary to a patient’s wishes” or, in the regular course of her duties, was required to refer patients for “gender transition” procedures.
However, in 2021 her hospital came under new management and was ordered to affirm, endorse and refer gender reassignment drugs and procedures as outlined in “mandatory diversity training” for hospital staff, according to the New York Post.
Kloosterman’s suit was filed by the religious rights law group First Liberty.
First Liberty notes that Kloosterman requested an opt out due to her strongly held religious beliefs and offered a “work-around” by using names instead of pronouns where necessary.
According to the suit, the hospital responded by calling Kloosterman “evil” and a “liar.” Kloosterman also alleges a diversity manager “blamed her for gender dysphoria-related suicides.”
Weeks after the rejection of her request, Kloosterman claims she was fired over a “dispute about hypotheticals” — hypotheticals she claims “have never come up in her work outside of the training module.”
The legal complaint notes why Kloosterman believes she was terminated. An excerpt from the lawsuit reads:
“The letter explaining her termination listed three reasons for firing Ms. Kloosterman, all of which directly related to her sincerely held religious beliefs about gender identity and to her conscientious objection to assisting in the provision of certain ‘gender reassignment’ drugs and procedures.”
The complaint continues: “If not for Ms. Kloosterman’s religious beliefs about gender and sexuality, she would not have been fired.”
Kloosterman told Fox News Digital that she was “heartbroken.”
“I had 17 years that I spent with patients and families, co-workers who sometimes I spent more time with than I did with my own family. And they took that away. They took away the relationships that I had built up, and the people who trusted me for their care.”
“It was over something that could have easily been accommodated based on the University of Michigan’s focus on being inclusive,” she added.
Kloosterman also claims that the “mandatory” medical training required her to reject the idea that gender identity was determined at birth or by biology. “I had to select the box” that gender was “fluid” she claims.
Kloosterman added: “It was not an option for me to state my concerns, and I could not complete this mandatory test without answering that question the way they wanted me to based on the university’s belief, and so I raised my concerns.”
Kloosterman told Fox News that a meeting with administrators to resolve issues soon “became hostile” when she began to explain why, as a Christian, she could not “answer these questions in good conscience to God.”
“I was called evil. I was called a liar,” Kloosterman claims. “And I very compassionately gave my point of what my concern was from a medical standpoint from my medical judgment, as well as in good conscience to God, and I should never have been asked to compromise my faith to be able to do my job.”
“I heard nothing after that other than at my termination meeting,” Kloosterman said.
A spokesperson for the hospital told Fox News Digital: “We are confident Ms. Kloosterman’s claims, like those she filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, are without merit.”
The spokesperson added that the hospital “is committed to providing appropriate medical treatment to all patients and respects the religious beliefs of its employees.”
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