State Leaders Want Inmate Sex Change Ruling Appealed

BOSTON (AP) — A group of 50 Massachusetts legislators has asked the state Department of Correction to appeal a ruling from a federal court judge who ordered prison officials to provide sex-reassignment surgery to a transgender inmate.

Sen. Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, a Republican from Gloucester, said the group is “greatly troubled” by the court’s finding that the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment requires the state to provide the surgery to Michelle Kosilek, who is serving a life sentence for murder.

The group sent a letter Thursday to DOC Commissioner Luis Spencer. The letter argues that if the ruling is left standing, it “will compel an absurd action” by the department.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf ruled Tuesday that the state must provide the surgery because it is the only way to treat Kosilek’s severe gender-identity disorder.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

  • Taxpayers shouldn’t foot bill for murderer’s sex change – The Daily News of Newburyport | Cosmetic Surgery

    […] CBS Local […]

  • Adam Cohen: Should States Pay for Prisoners’ Sex-Change Operations? | TIME Ideas |

    […] Not surprisingly, the ruling has produced some outrage. Scott Brown, Massachusetts’ Republican Senator, said Kosilek’s surgery would be “an outrageous abuse of taxpayer dollars.” A niece of Kosilek’s slain wife called on the state to appeal, telling the Boston Globe: “As far as I’m concerned, he deserves nothing. If he wants to attempt suicide … let him.” Fifty state legislators have also urged the state to appeal. […]

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