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Texas Federal court rules inmates have no right to trans surgery

Texas Federal court rules inmates have no right to trans surgery

Texas AG wants to stop gay marriage

A trans woman inmate says she’ll continue fighting to have Texas pay for her gender-affirmation surgery after suffering losing her case.

The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeal rejected Vanessa Lynn Gibson’s case. Her lawyer will ask the courts to rehear the case, the Washington Times reported today (2 April).

Although the state will cover hormone treatment and counselling, the three-judge panel upheld the state’s policy of denying funding for surgery.

Why did the courts refuse?

In the 2-1 ruling, the court said them refusing to facilitate the surgery does not go against the Eighth Amendment.

It protects citizens from ‘cruel and unusual punishments’ when incarcerated.

Judge James C. Ho reportedly said: ‘Under established precedent, it can be cruel and unusual punishment to deny essential medical care to an inmate.

‘But that does not mean prisons must provide whatever care an inmate wants.’


However, the judges were not in uniform agreement.

Judge Rhesa Hawkins Barksdale said: ‘We are disappointed in the majority’s ruling against Vanessa.

‘But we are heartened by the dissent’s analysis to the contrary.’

Though, in contrast, Attorney General Ken Paxton said the ruling favored Texan taxpayers.

He said: Americans strongly believe in the legal and moral obligation to assure our criminal justice system imposes appropriate and humane penalties.

‘The 5th Circuit’s faithful analysis of the Constitution makes clear that obligation does not give convicted criminals a constitutional right to a taxpayer-funded gender reassignment surgery.’

LGBTI rights in Texas

But the square state of Texas is not the safest place to be LGBTI.

Significantly, Texas does not have any federal or state laws which prohibit anti-LGBTI discrimination.

Moreover, Texas was one of 28 states which received the lowest ranking by LGBTI rights group Human Rights Campaign’s fifth annual State Equality Index.

See also

Texas city could implement anti-discrimination ordinance for LGBTI employees

Owner of Texas gay club under fire for attending a pro-Trump rally

Anti-LGBTI Trump official slated to head university in Texas