After 17 years of faithful service to her employer and her craft, a physician’s assistant was let go from her job at the University of Michigan Health-West.
The reason for Valerie Kloosterman’s termination was her refusal to participate in “gender reassignment” procedures, an action that ran counter to her “sincerely held religious beliefs” as a Christian, she said in a lawsuit filed Oct. 11 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.
“I’m 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,” Kloosterman told Fox News.
“It was over something that could have easily been accommodated based on the University of Michigan’s focus on being inclusive,” she said.
Kloosterman was fired in 2021 after she decided to seek religious accommodation that would have exempted her from using transgender pronouns, as well as referring patients for reassignment surgeries and drugs, Fox News reported.
She argued that it violated her religious teachings.
When forced to take part in a mandatory training questionnaire to affirm that gender was fluid, a question she could not answer in good conscience, she brought the issue to her boss.
“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,” she said, according to the New York Post.
Instead of receiving her accommodations, she was reportedly ridiculed, as reported by the Post.
“I was called evil. I was called a liar. 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,” she explained.
A diversity manager also allegedly “blamed her for gender dysphoria-related suicides.”
That allegation is included in the lawsuit Kloosterman has launched with the help of the organization First Liberty.
This week in the FLI Insider, we unpack our newest case with Valerie Kloosterman. Valerie was a dedicated physician’s assistant who was fired for living out her faith. Read why we rushed to her defense: https://t.co/xP6QkT60SF
— First Liberty Institute (@1stLiberty) October 17, 2022
“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 lawsuit claimed, according to the Post.
“If not for Ms. Kloosterman’s religious beliefs about gender and sexuality, she would not have been fired.”
A spokesman for the University of Michigan Health-West released a statement regarding the suit, stating “we are confident Ms. Kloosterman’s claims, like those she filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, are without merit.”
The statement continued by saying the health care group “is committed to providing appropriate medical treatment to all patients and respects the religious beliefs of its employees,” as reported by Fox.
Looking back on her firing, Kloosterman said she was hurt by the way UMH-West twisted her stance on a hypothetical situation and turned her into a villain.
“I cry less often, but the tears still come,” she said, Fox reported.
While her faith has been tested, it appears she is standing strong.
“I pray simply that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart would be pleasing to God, that God would be glorified in this, and that his truth would be heard,” she said to Fox.
“Nobody has to compromise their faith for their job.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.