- - Wednesday, June 4, 2014

President Obama doesn’t deal in equality. He delivers special treatment. His use of executive orders and the stacking of the judicial bench to nullify traditional marriage has never been about righting a perceived wrong, as he says. It’s payback to the well-funded lavender lobby.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that taxpayers would henceforth pay for changing old men into old women, and vice versa, under Medicare. These are very expensive surgeries that require hormone treatments, psychotherapy and other expensive “interventions.”

Some people are confused and have self-identity problems, but such difficulties are usually resolved long before they reach the age of 65. When an elderly woman develops self-image problems, she can’t put the public on the hook to pay for her Botox and liposuction. An otherwise healthy man can’t charge his toupee to the U.S. Treasury.

The special treatment only applies to homosexuals — even if they’re criminals. The Pentagon has been discussing transferring custody of Bradley Manning, the convicted leaker of national security secrets, from Fort Leavenworth to the Federal Bureau of Prisons and a civilian prison where he can get government hormone therapy to live the rest of his 35 years or so behind bars as “Chelsea.”

An independent Department of Health and Human Services board made the coverage decision after a precedent was set in the case of a 74-year-old transgendered man-woman in Albuquerque, N.M. The board cited medical studies over the past 30 years that it says showed that grounds for exclusion of sex-change coverage were “not reasonable” anymore.

The Medicare ban was put in place in 1981, when transgender surgeries were considered experimental. The first American known to have discarded his manhood was one George Jorgensen, who became “Christine” in 1951 in Denmark. The process of rearranging private parts is no longer considered experimental, but for decades there was no tranny raid on the public purse.

This surgery is not a medically necessary procedure, but an indulgence. The homosexual organizations represent only a tiny percentage of the population, but gays typically have a larger than average disposable income, so they could easily set up a charitable foundation to pay for sex-change operations for those who can’t afford them. However, this would cut into political fundraising. The Center for Responsive Politics counts a dozen prominent homosexual activists who together raised $2.7 million for Mr. Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

The president, who by his telling evolved slowly on homosexual issues, is showing his gratitude for patience now. He dispatched Interior Secretary Sally Jewell last week to announce a National Park Service initiative to identify people and places significant to homosexuals.

A panel of 18 scholars will add these sites, perhaps the birthplace of Liberace, to the National Register of Historic Places. They’ll recommend National Historic Landmarks and new national monuments, says Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. The late homosexual activist icon Harvey Milk got his own U.S. postage stamp May 22, so why not his likeness on Mount Rushmore?

The $250,000 price of the landmark research is being financed by the Gill Foundation, a major donor to homosexual-rights causes. The Medicare change, however, will be on the taxpayer tab. When Mr. Obama promised a fundamental transformation of society, he wasn’t kidding.