Tea party state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, who was for same-sex marriage before he was against it, says he’s drafted a bill that would bar the state from paying for “sex changes” for inmates. From Stickland’s Facebook page:
Despite Stickland’s claim, I’m not aware of any case in which Texas has paid for gender reassignment surgery for an inmate. In fact, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has refused to even provide hormone therapy for transgender inmates. And in 2007, a federal appeals court sided with the state.
However, more recently, courts in other parts of the country have found that denying transgender inmates medically necessary care violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.
In 2012, after a federal appeals court struck down a Wisconsin law barring the use of state funds for hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the decision.
And earlier this year, a federal appeals court ruled that Massachusetts must provide gender reassignment surgery to an inmate. The Boston Globe reported that this would be “the first court-ordered, state-funded sex change for a prisoner in the country.”
Stickland didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.