Judge rules state must provide sex-reassignment surgery

Hilariously, the headline editor at the Boston Globe is careful to note in the headline that he committed the murder “as a man.”  Other than that, they refer to him as “her” and applaud the judge’s reasoning. The judge seems to reveal that he already believed it to be a “fact” that it is “medically necessary” even before it became “more widely recognized” (and it is also even more widely recognized that it is not medically necessary, and that is in fact the fact, but the Globe would never allow a reader to know that.)

Federal judge rules state must provide sex reassignment surgery for Michelle Kosilek, who was convicted of murdering his wife as a man

09/04/2012 2:18 PM

By Milton J. Valencia, Globe Staff

A federal court judge has ordered state officials to provide a sex-reassignment surgery for a transsexual prison inmate, convicted of murdering his wife, after finding that the treatment is the only adequate care for his serious mental illness, gender identity disorder.

US District Court Chief Judge Mark Wolf also noted that the treatment for Michelle Kosilek had been prescribed by Department of Correction doctors, and that the only justifications for denying the treatment were based on public opinion.

“This fact that sex reassignment surgery is for some people medically necessary has recently become more widely recognized,” Wolf wrote in a landmark, 129-page ruling issued today.

Kosilek strangled his wife, Cheryl, in Mansfield in 1990 and dumped her body in a car at the Emerald Square Mall at North Attleborough. Kosilek then fled to New York State before being arrested.

Kosilek was convicted of first degree murder in January 1993 and is serving life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Kosilek legally changed her name to Michelle in 1993 and has been living as a woman in an all-male prison in Norfolk.

Kosilek first sued the Department of Correction in 2000, arguing that its refusal to pay for a sex-change violates her Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment.

The department has consistently opposed Kosilek’s request.

Today, Department of Correction spokeswoman Diane Wiffin said the state agency has received Wolf’s ruling.

“We are reviewing the decision and exploring our appellate options,” Wiffin said.

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