By Denise La Voie
BOSTON (AP) — A ruling ordering Massachusetts prison officials to provide sex-reassignment surgery to an inmate is being praised by advocates as important recognition that the surgery is a legitimate treatment for gender-identity disorder, even as critics including Sen. Scott Brown call it “an outrageous abuse of taxpayer dollars.”
U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled Tuesday in the case of Michelle Kosilek, a transgender inmate serving life in prison for murder. Wolf said the Department of Correction must provide the taxpayer-funded surgery because it is the only way to treat Kosilek’s “serious medical need.”
Kosilek was born male but has received hormone treatments and now lives as a woman in an all-male prison. Kosilek was named Robert when married to Cheryl Kosilek and convicted of murdering her in 1990.
While courts around the country have found that prisons must evaluate transgender inmates to determine their health care needs, most have ordered hormone treatments and psychotherapy. Wolf is the first judge to actually order sex reassignment surgery as a remedy to gender-identity disorder.
“It’s great to see a judge recognize that transition-related health care is medically necessary health care and that transgender prisoners are entitled to the same health care that other folks who are incarcerated receive,” said Kristina Wertz, director of policy and programs at the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco.
- Michelle Kosilek, Transgender Murder Convict, Granted Gender Reassignment Surgery (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
- Judge grants sex change for Mass. murder convict (cnsnews.com)
- POLL: Judge orders sex change for Massachusetts wife-killer (enterprisenews.com)
- Federal Judge Orders Sex Reassignment Surgery For Convicted Murderer (lezgetreal.com)
- Judge grants sex change for Mass. murder convict (myfox8.com)
- Judge Orders Taxpayer-Funded Sex Reassignment Surgery For Inmate Serving Life For Killing Wife (mediaite.com)
- Judge: U.S. state must provide sex-change surgery for murder convict who now lives as woman (theprovince.com)
- Jailed killer should get sex-change operation paid by taxpayers, U.S. judge rules (thestar.com)
- Federal Judge Orders Taxpayer-Funded Sex Change For Wife Killer (thedaleygator.wordpress.com)
- Killer Robert ‘Michelle’ Kosilek’s Sex Change Will Be Paid For By Taxpayers, Federal Judge Rules (sfluxe.com)