Walgreens pharmacist berated by trans customer for refusing to fill order for cross-sex hormones

Walgreens in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Walgreens in Scottsdale, Arizona. | iStock/BCFC

A trans person swore at a Walgreens pharmacist and accused him of having "hate" in his heart for refusing to refill a testosterone prescription that she is taking in an attempt to look like a man. 

The pharmacist refused to refill the prescription because of his religious beliefs. 

In response to a Monday inquiry from The Christian Post, Walgreens said it is reviewing the matter but did not reveal further details about Roscoe Rike, the name of the trans-identified individual at the center of the dispute. 

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“Our policies are designed to ensure we meet the needs of our patients and customers while respecting the religious and moral beliefs of our team members,” a Walgreens spokesperson told CP. 

“In an instance where a team member has a religious or moral conviction that prevents them from meeting a patient’s need, we require the team member to refer the patient to another employee or manager on duty who can complete the transaction. These instances, however, are very rare,” the spokesperson added. 

Rike is a 30-year-old woman who identifies as a man. The trans-identifying individual arrived at a Walgreens in Oakland, California, Monday after speaking with an employee to learn if her opposite-sex hormones were ready for pick-up. 

The woman has reportedly picked up her cross-sex hormones order from the same Walgreens location for around three years without delay.

According to The Los Angeles Times, when she arrived at Walgreens, Rike alleges that the pharmacist asked why she needed the cross-sex hormones. The pharmacist then informed Rike that he was going to verify with her doctor why she was being prescribed testosterone. 

The Walgreens employee then reportedly told Rike that he could not fill her order for opposite-sex hormones due to his religious beliefs. At one point during the interaction, Rike took out her phone and started recording the pharmacist. 

“So right now, you’re going to tell me you’re going to deny me my medication because of your personal religion?” Rike is heard saying in the recording. “You’re not my [expletive] doctor.” 

As the pharmacist stood behind the counter and continued looking at something on the computer screen, the trans-identified woman challenged him, asking the pharmacist if he believed that he knew better than her doctor. The pharmacist replied that he needed to know Rike’s diagnosis. 

“Why? That’s none of your [expletive] business!” Rike shouted. “It’s always the religious people that have the most [expletive] hate in their hearts. You’re disgusting.” 

Near the conclusion of the recording, Rike accused the pharmacist of discrimination. At the end of the video, after the pharmacist told Rike that she could return to the store at noon, Rike yelled at him, shouting, "No, I want my [expletive] medication now.” 

Following the exchange with the pharmacist, Rike said she's considering switching to a new pharmacy or utilizing a home delivery service, according to the LA Times. However, she added that she's hesitant to make the switch. 

“There’s a part of me that’s like, why do I have to change how I do things? I didn’t do anything wrong,” she added, according to the LA Times. “I should just be able to go to my local pharmacy and get my medication like everyone else.” 

As KRON4 reported, Rike has been in contact with the Transgender Law Center, which boasts that it’s the largest trans civil rights organization in the country. At the time of the outlet’s report on June 21, Rike revealed that she planned to file a formal complaint with the Walgreens corporate office. 

The Transgender Law Center did not immediately respond to The Christian Post’s request for comment about the complaint. 

Rike’s exchange with the pharmacist at Walgreens comes amid ongoing debates about whether medical professionals must be forced to violate their religious beliefs. 

As CP reported Friday, the Biden administration declined to appeal a U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision blocking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from enforcing a 2016 rule that would require religious healthcare professionals to perform unnecessary body mutilating sex-change surgeries in violation of their beliefs.

It was implemented under the Obama administration, requiring recipients of federal financial assistance to “treat individuals consistent with their gender identity, except that a covered entity may not deny or limit health services that are ordinarily or exclusively available to individuals of one sex, or to a transgender individual based on the fact that the individual’s assigned sex at birth, gender identity, or gender otherwise recorded is different from the one to which such health services are ordinarily or exclusively available.” 

The district court granted the religious plaintiff organizations’ request for injunctive relief in early 2021, concluding that “the [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] entitles the Catholic Plaintiffs to permanent injunctive relief from the provision or coverage of gender-transition procedures.” 

In December, the 8th Circuit affirmed the lower court’s judgment after the Biden administration appealed the district court’s ruling. The administration had until Tuesday to appeal the 8th Circuit’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it did not. 

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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