Transgender inmate petitions Supreme Court for sex reassignment surgery News
Transgender inmate petitions Supreme Court for sex reassignment surgery

[JURIST] A transgender inmate in Massachusetts on Monday asked [cert. petition PDF] the US Supreme Court [official website] to overturn a ruling denying her request for sex reassignment surgery. The question at issue is whether “the Eighth Amendment prohibits prison officials from denying necessary medical treatment to a prisoner for non-medical reasons, such as security concerns.” According to the petition, the Massachusetts Department of Correction (DOC) “violated the Eighth Amendment by refusing to provide petitioner … with necessary medical treatment that had been recommended by the DOC’s own doctors.” Although the trial court, as well as the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled for the inmate, Michelle Kosilek, the First Circuit granted a petition for rehearing where the decision was reversed, thus holding that there had been no Eighth Amendment violation.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights remain controversial throughout the US. Earlier this month the governor of Kansas rescinded [JURIST report] an executive order protecting LGBT state employees from the discrimination, and the Oklahoma House of Representatives [official website] approved a bill [Reuters report] that would protect clergy members from involvement in lawsuits for their refusal to conduct same-sex marriages. Also this month the Florida House of Representatives [official website] introduced a bill that could prohibit [Huffington Post report] transgender people from choosing a bathroom, instead confining them to use the bathroom designated to the sex a person was at birth.