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Gay Leaders On Kosilek Appeal

By Charlotte Robinson, September 27, 2012
Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) & the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) reacted with disappointment to the Commonwealth’s announcement that it will appeal the district court decision which established that gender reassignment surgery is necessary medical care for prisoner Michelle Kosilek. Earlier this month U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled that the only adequate treatment for Kosilek's gender-identity disorder, a condition Wolf said is a "serious medical need" would be a sex change operation that would be funded by taxpayers. He said denying surgery violated Kosilek's Eighth Amendment rights. This was the first time a judge has ordered prison officials to provide sex-reassignment surgery to an inmate. Now Governor Deval Patrick's administration is appealing the federal judge's ruling that the state must pay for a sex reassignment surgery. Jennifer Levi, Transgender Rights Project Director for GLAD said, “Constitutional rights belong to everyone, even the least loved, least popular people among us. Prisoners have a right to necessary medical care & this is indisputably medical care, as the very strong district court decision established. There really is no legal ground for this appeal. We believe the district court decision is very solid & will stand.” Kosilek, now 63, was named Robert when married to Cheryl Kosilek & was convicted of her 1990 murder. Kosilek has received hormone treatments & lives as a woman in an all-male prison. Updates to Come…:)  OUTTAKE VOICES™ NOW ON HUFFINGTON POST...:)
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