Lyons and Brown condemn court ruling that taxpayers must pay for sex selection surgery of inmates

Today a federal judge ordered that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must pay for the sex reassignment surgery of a violent murderer.  The Boston Herald has the story.

A federal judge today ordered state prison officials to provide a taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery to a transgender inmate serving life in prison for murder.

U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled in the case of Michelle Kosilek, who was born as a man but has received hormone treatments and lives as a woman in an all-male prison. Robert Kosilek was convicted of murder in the killing of his wife in 1990.

Wolf is believed to be the first federal judge to order prison officials to provide the surgery for a transgender inmate.

United State Senator Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts) and State Representative Jim Lyons (R-Andover) reacted, almost immediately, to condemn what they term an abuse of tax-payer dollars.  

Brown emailed the following statement, “This is an outrageous abuse of taxpayer dollars. We have many big challenges facing us as a nation, but no where among those issues would I include providing sex change surgery to convicted murderers. I encourage the state to appeal the court’s decision. I look forward to common sense prevailing and the ruling being overturned.”

Lyons also called for an immediate appeal by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, “This is an insult to the taxpayers of Massachusetts.”

more after the jump

The full text of Lyons press release can be seen below:

“This is an insult to the taxpayers of Massachusetts,” said Representative Jim Lyons of Andover. Lyons was referring to the federal court decision that forces state taxpayers to fund the sex change of a vicious murderer. This criminal murdered his wife, Cheryl Kosilek, in 1990 and was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

“Apparently,” Lyons said, “the Patrick Administration has been caught flat footed on this matter.” He noted that and administration spokesperson at the Department of Correction is quoted as saying they are reviewing the decision and exploring appellate options.

“There should be no hesitation,” Lyons emphasized. “This is simply wrong.

“It is wrong for our taxpayers. It is wrong for crime victims. It is wrong for our innocent citizens who play be the rules. The Patrick Administration must immediately announce that it will appeal this wrongheaded decision all the way to the United States Supreme Court, if necessary.”

Lyons pointed out that law-abiding taxpayers are obligated to pay for expensive health insurance plans or to pay directly-out-of-pocket for their most essential health care needs. “Now, they are going to tell these struggling taxpaying families that they must also foot the bill for this kind of operation for a convicted murderer? This is turning common sense upside down.”

Noting that precious taxpayer resources are at a premium on Beacon Hill, Lyons said, “There are so many important needs in our state today. We had to fight hard to have Governor Patrick agree with increases in Local Aid this year. If the administration can find taxpayer monies for something like this, then there is no excuse for denying greater Local Aid for police, fire, public safety, primary and secondary education, and public works.”

Lyons concluded, saying, “It’s time to re-order our priorities. It’s time to think of law-abiding taxpaying families first.”

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