West posted the following tweet yesterday afternoon:
— Allen West (@AllenWest) May 11, 2016
The link goes to an article on West’s website by Derrick Wilburn. Wilburn uses Dr. Levine as an example in his piece criticizing the Justice Department’s lawsuit against North Carolina over its controversial bathroom law.
Suffice to say, Wilburn was not respectful of Dr. Levine in this post, a small portion of which is included below:
“Pictured here is Dr. Richard Levine, the state of Pennsylvania’s current Physician General. Every day, Dr. Levine awakens, does his hair, puts on makeup, lipstick, a dress or pantsuit and goes to work. Dr. Levine (Rachel as s/he now prefers) ‘identifies’ as a woman.”
She is the highest serving transgender government official in Pennsylvania history.
UPDATE: State Rep. Brian Sims responded to Allen West in a Facebook post.
“Allen West, a defunct Tea Partier from Florida and active bigot, vilely attacked my close friend, Pennsylvania’s Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine, in an attempt to get noticed during the current legal battle over discriminatory laws between the Department of Justice and the state of North Carolina,” Sims writes. “Though West has fallen to near obscurity, it appears he fills his days spouting wildly inaccurate and hateful tirades on issues he doesn’t understand and people he doesn’t know.”
“LGBT rights are under assault across the nation. That’s why it’s critical we are united and call out bigotry and hate when it occurs. It is imperative that we pass legislation like the Pennsylvania Fairness Act that prohibits LGBT discrimination. Join me today in condemning Allen West’s bigotry and demanding our elected officials on the state and federal levels protect the LGBT community.”
UPDATE 2: Equality Pennsylvania Executive Director Ted Martin’s sent PoliticsPA the following response:
“Dr. Rachel Levine is an exceptional public servant and one of the people Pennsylvanians are lucky to have. She is also my friend and I have long admired how she has built her career by serving at-risk youth with caring, compassion and dedication. Governor Wolf recognized these fine qualities too when he nominated her to be the Pennsylvania Physician General. It was no surprise to me that the Pennsylvania Senate in turn recognized her redoubtable qualifications by unanimously confirming her, 49-0. It was a personal highlight of my career sitting with Rachel in the Senate Public Gallery watching that vote take place. To malign and disrespect her character is offensive and just plain wrong. It demeans every public servant, it cheapens the lives of transgender people and it truly damages public discourse. Those doing it should be ashamed. I speak for myself and the organization that I work for when I say we have Dr. Levine’s back. And to every transgender Pennsylvanian, know that we will do everything in our power to have your backs too. It is our honor to call you friends, allies and brothers and sisters.
Transgender people are part of our everyday lives: they are our coworkers, friends, and family members. Everyone, including transgender people, deserves to be treated with the same dignity and respect in the workplace, and we all deserve to be treated equally under the law. Any allegation that Dr. Levine believes otherwise is a disingenuous smear against an accomplished public servant that works every day to protect the livelihood of all Pennsylvanians.”