Judge orders California to pay for inmate's sex change

Apr 2, 2015 6:11 PM by News Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A federal judge has ordered California's corrections department to provide a transsexual inmate with sex change surgery, the first time such an operation has been ordered in California.

U.S. District Court Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco ruled Thursday that denying sex reassignment surgery to 51-year-old Michelle-Lael Norsworthy violates her constitutional rights. Her birth name is Jeffrey Bryan Norsworthy.

The ruling says it would be the second time nationwide that such a surgery has been performed on an inmate, an apparent reference to an inmate who castrated himself in Texas then was given the surgery out of necessity.

Corrections officials say they are considering whether to appeal the ruling.

A spokeswoman for the federal receiver who controls California prison medical care says the surgery could cost taxpayers nearly $100,000.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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