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.