A First and’Historic’ Ruling: Judge Orders Prison to Pay $100k for Inmate’s Sex Change

California, currently facing water shortages, has money to pay for an inmate’s costly sex change operation. A federal judge in San Francisco has ordered the state’s corrections department to provide a transgender woman with sex change surgery.

It’s the first time such an operation has been ordered in the state. According to the spokeswoman for the federal receiver, who controls California prison medical care, the surgery could cost taxpayers as much as $100,000.

US District Court Judge Jon Tigar ruled on Thursday that denying sex reassignment surgery to 51-year-old Michelle-Lael Norsworthy (whose birth name is Jeffrey Bryan) violates her rights to adequate medical care under the Eighth Amendment to the constitution. Corrections officials say they are considering whether to appeal the ruling.

Michelle-Lael Norsworthy. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

An executive director of the Transgender Law Center, Kris Hayashi, said the court’s “historic decision”confirmed that it’s unlawful to deny essential treatment to transgender people.

The prison had previously denied Michelle her gender-affirming surgery, although according to her treating psychologist it was medically necessary to treat her gender identity disorder.

California Department of Corrections

The judge found that prison administrators “chose to ignore the clear recommendations of her mental health provider” and instead of following his recommendations, simply “removed her from his care.”

Michelle testified she was suffering psychological pain caused by her untreated gender disorder (a diagnosis describing people who experience extreme discontent with the sex and gender they were born with.) The judge specifically rejected California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) argument that the length of time she has been suffering meant it wasn’t urgent.

“The continuation of . . . suffering constitutes irreparable injury, whether this is the first month she has suffered it or the hundredth,” Jon S. Tigar said, ordering CDCR to provide the inmate “adequate medical care, including sex reassignment surgery . . . as promptly as possible.”

Jon S. Tigar, US District Court Judge, Northern District of California. Photo S. Todd Rogers

The judge concluded the prison made its decision to deny Michelle medical care based not on any individualized assessment, but because of “a blanket policy barring SRS [sex reassignment surgery] as a treatment for transgender inmates.”

According to Transgender Law Center legal director, Ilona Turner, “this is a tremendous victory for her [Michelle] and for all transgender people incarcerated in California.”

Nine states, including California, already require private insurers to cover medical care related to gender transition, and public insurance programs like Medicare and California’s Medicaid system also cover this type of care. If the operation is performed, it will be the second time for such a procedure in US prisons. The first case was Richard Masbruch, an inmate in Texas, who castrated himself and was given the surgery out of necessity.


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“In the last days … men shall be … lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” 2 Timothy 3:1-4.

And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not- 2 Peter 2:2-3 (KJV).

While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage – 2 Peter 2:19 (KJV).

”..keep that which is avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith…” (1 Timothy 6:20-21 KJV). 

How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts – Jude 1:8 (KJV).

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils – 1 Timothy 4:1 (KJV).

But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities -2 Peter 2:10 (KJV).

Lovers of Pleasure: “lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (KJV).



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