Senate Confirms First Openly Transgender U.S. Official

March 25, 2021 – Rachel Levine has been confirmed by the United States Senate as Assistant Secretary of Health, becoming the first openly transgender federal official to obtain Senate confirmation.

Wednesday’s vote was 52-48 and the result was mostly along party lines. Only two Republicans – the Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine – voted with all Democrats to support Levine, the Associated press reported.

Levine, who has been Pennsylvania’s health secretary since 2017, is expected to be in charge of health and human services offices and programs nationwide.

Levine’s achievement is considered a historic breakthrough by transgender rights activists, as few trans people have held senior positions at the national or federal level, the AP reported.

A graduate of Harvard and Tulane Medical School, Levine is president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. She has written in the past on the opioid crisis, medical marijuana, adolescent medicine, eating disorders and LGBTQ medicine, the AP reported.

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Jothi Venkat

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