- - Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Jailbirds Ophelia De’Lonta and Bradley Manning have a lot in common. Taxpayers are paying for their incarceration, and both want those same taxpayers to pick up the tab for sex-change operations. It’s a sign of the times.

Born Michael Stokes, De'Lonta is a preoperative transsexual who is currently serving a 73-year sentence for bank robbery and drug and weapons charges. He’s been behind bars in Buckingham County, Va., since age 18, but U.S. District Court Judge James C. Turk ruled last week that he’s entitled to an evaluation by a sex-identity specialist of his choosing to ascertain whether the $20,000 operation is “medically necessary.” Though De'Lonta, now 53, must pay for that evaluation himself, he has already finagled taxpayer funding for his hormone treatments at Buckingham Correctional Center, and he has also been granted permission to dress as a woman. If the sex-identity specialist concludes the operation is indeed “necessary” and the court goes along with it, Virginia taxpayers, via the state Department of Corrections, would fork over for De'Lonta to go under the knife.

Following Manning’s Aug. 21 sentencing for leaking classified documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, the Army private announced that henceforth he wants to be known as Chelsea, rather than Bradley. A spokesman for the Fort Leavenworth, Kan., penitentiary told NBC that the Army “does not provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery for gender-identity disorder.” Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, said he would seek to force the prison to provide the treatment.

The politically correct Associated Press now refers to Bradley as Chelsea and uses female pronouns in its reporting, even though his name has not legally changed. That’s bad enough, but it would be far worse for the Pentagon to squander precious taxpayer dollars helping boost a convict’s self-esteem. The demand for this new entitlement comes as President Obama wields a veto threat over Congress, pushing for a hike in the fees servicemen pay for TriCare, the Pentagon’s in-house health care system.


De'Lonta filed a lawsuit in 2011 that claimed denial of his sex-change operation constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. De'Lonta and Manning are likely just the first of many seeking to enlist liberal judges in their cause of converting their unnatural whims into a constitutional right. It’s a logical advance in the march to undermine society’s traditional foundations.

The homosexual-activist community is flush with cash, as evidenced by political donations in the millions of dollars to Mr. Obama’s two presidential campaigns and its nationwide efforts to legalize same-sex marriage, including donations in excess of $1 million to the NAACP to win its support for homosexual rights. Let this lobby, not the taxpayer, pay for De'Lonta’s and Manning’s elective surgeries.