Michelle Kosilek
Deval Patrick Administration Sides Against Trans Inmate on Need for Surgery

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com September 27 2012 3:42 PM ET

Yet another important fixture of Massachusetts politics is siding against a trans inmate who wants gender-reassignment surgery.

Both U.S. Senate candidates from the state, Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown, reacted with condemnation when a U.S. district judge ruled that a convicted murderer, Michelle Kosilek, should be allowed gender-reassignment surgery, which would be paid for by the state that has incarcerated her.

Now Gov. Deval Patrick's administration is also siding against Kosilek, with the Department of Correction announcing it will appeal the judge's decision.

A spokeswoman for the department told the Associated Press that it isn't opposed to the surgery on principle but claimed the appeal is based on "providing certain levels of medical treatment and keeping the inmates in our care and the public at large safe."

Kosilek has taken hormone treatment and now serves among the women's unit, but prison officials have claimed the surgery would make her a target. Some trans activists, though, have said it seems politicians wrongfully consider the surgery cosmetic and unnecessary.