- The Washington Times - Monday, February 6, 2006

MILWAUKEE (AP) — A new Wisconsin law barring the use of state tax money for prisoner sex changes won’t stop four inmates from getting hormone treatments until at least August.

The law took effect two weeks ago, but two groups have filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the inmates, challenging the statute as unconstitutional.

Judge Charles Clevert Jr. issued a preliminary injunction that prevents the state from stopping the hormone treatments until he holds a hearing, scheduled for Aug. 24, on the matter.

The law bars the Wisconsin Department of Corrections from using tax dollars for hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery to treat prisoners for “gender-identity disorder.”

The four plaintiffs are the only Wisconsin prisoners getting hormone therapy, which costs $675 to $1,600 a year. They say stopping the treatments would be cruel and unusual punishment and would violate their right to equal protection.

State Rep. Mark Gundrum, a Republican and one of the law’s authors, predicted the law would withstand the challenge. “It’s ridiculous to ask the taxpayers to pay for this,” he said.

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