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Monday, April 15, 2024

After Caving to Nazi Federal Inmate, DOJ Pushes for Sex Changes in State Prisons

'The Eighth Amendment requires prison officials to provide incarcerated people with adequate medical care for serious medical conditions. It is well established that gender dysphoria is a serious medical condition...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) In November, Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, pressed Bureau of Prisons Director Colette Peters about whether federal inmates have an Eighth Amendment right to receive sex changes.

Nehls was asking his question in relation to former neo-Nazi and domestic terrorist Pete/Donna Langan, who became the first inmate in history last year to receive a taxpayer-funded sex change—as first reported by this publication.

Langan had sued the BOP, claiming that inmates should have an Eighth Amendment right to gender dysphoria treatment. The Justice Department settled Langan’s lawsuit in secret—prompting Nehls to inquire about the matter.

Peters didn’t answer Nehls’s question last November, but the DOJ made it clear in a Monday court filing that the Biden administration does indeed consider prison sex changes to be an Eighth Amendment right.

The DOJ’s court filing was made to support a lawsuit filed by an unnamed inmate against the Georgia Department of Corrections. Details of the inmate’s crimes weren’t included in the filing.

“The Eighth Amendment requires prison officials to provide incarcerated people with adequate medical care for serious medical conditions. It is well established that gender dysphoria is a serious medical condition,” the DOJ said in its statement of interest, supporting the inmate’s lawsuit.

“Prison officials demonstrate deliberate indifference to a substantial risk of serious harm—and thus violate the Eighth Amendment—when they categorically refuse to provide medically necessary gender-affirming surgery to an incarcerated individual with gender dysphoria.”

The DOJ also issued a press release on Monday, explaining its decision to support the inmate’s lawsuit.

“People with gender dysphoria should be able to seek the full protections of the American with Disabilities Act, just like other people with disabilities,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

“We are committed to ensuring constitutional conditions inside our jails and prisons so that those detained inside these facilities, including people with gender dysphoria can live safely and receive needed medical care. The U.S. Constitution requires that people incarcerated in jails and prisons receive necessary medical care, treatment and services to address serious medical conditions.”

According to the press release, Doe alleges that the state of Georgia denied adequate medical treatment for gender dysphoria, including gender-affirming surgery that has been recommended by four clinicians and consistent hormone therapy.

Because of the inadequate care and exacerbation of her gender dysphoria, Doe has engaged in repeated self-harm, including attempts at suicide and self-castration, according to the press release.

Doe reportedly seeks a preliminary injunction that would grant her access to medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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