- The Washington Times - Friday, April 3, 2015

California’s corrections department has been ordered to provide a transgender inmate with sex reassignment surgery.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco ruled Thursday that denying 51-year-old Michelle-Lael Norsworthy — born Jeffrey Bryan Norsworthy — the procedure was a violation of the inmate’s constitutional rights, CBS reported.

“The weight of the evidence demonstrates that for Norsworthy, the only adequate medical treatment for her gender dysphoria is [sex reassignment surgery],” the judge wrote.

The ruling marked the first time the state has been ordered to perform such an operation.

Norsworthy, a convicted murderer, has identified as a female since the 1990s.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation now must decide whether it wants to appeal the ruling.

“The bottom line is no one should be denied the medical care they need,” Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center, told CBS.

Joyce Hayhoe, a spokeswoman for the federal receiver who controls California prison medical care, said such procedures could cost upwards of $100,000, a number the Transgender Law Center disputes, CBS reported.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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