Editorial: Murderer doesn't deserve sex-change surgery
BY World's Editorials Writers
Friday, September 07, 2012
9/07/12 at 4:43 AM
There are many people in the gay and transgender community who need and deserve understanding and often help. A murderer, however, is not one of them.
A federal judge in Massachusetts has ordered the state prison system to provide a publicly funded sex-reassignment surgery to an inmate serving a life sentence for killing his wife.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. That history aside, it remains a wrongheaded decision.
Robert J. Kosilek was born a man, and in May 1990 he killed his wife and received a life sentence without parole. While in prison, he changed his name to Michelle and began suing the state for the sex-change procedure. Judge Wolf had previously denied him the right to surgery but had said he was entitled to treatment for gender-identity disorder.
Wolf ruled that the evidence showed that Kosilek was a "transsexual - a man who truly believes that he is a female cruelly trapped in a male body. This belief has caused Kosilek to suffer intense mental anguish. This anguish has caused Kosilek to attempt to castrate himself and to attempt twice to kill himself while incarcerated, once while he was taking the antidepressant Prozac."
There thousands of Americans who are trying to deal with transgender issues. Many of them are successful and live rewarding lives.
This stunt from a prisoner convicted of murder does the cause of equality no good. It becomes a mere joke or distraction and makes that deserved equality even more difficult to achieve.
The state of Massachusetts is considering an appeal.
There is plenty of pity for his victim and her family. The taxpayers are paying for his life in prison. The Constitution prevents cruel and unusual punishment. This case, however, does not rise to that level.
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