Thursday, August 24, 2006

Only in America

This semester, Thursday's are just absolutely unreal for me.  I am up by 6:30ish.  Quick shower, out the door by 7:15. Grab a bite to eat and then to my 8:10 class.  I sit through that for THREE (3) HOURS.  Then it's back to my room to change books.  Quick bite to eat in the dining hall at 11:30 or so and then it's back across campus for two back-to-back classes.  One is state and local government (which, from looking at the syllabus, I think I could teach) and the other is American History: 1865-Today.  I finish those up at about 3:10.  Then it's across the street for a quick cup of coffee or bottle of water and back to my room to switch books again.  "Educating the Exceptional Children" is my next class, which lasts roughly from 4-6:35.  Tonight I had dinner out with friends, and then a quick drive to try to find the school a friend of mine has to do her observations in for her EDUC class.

The moral of all this is that I am very busy on Thursdays and I may not have the time to post. Today, I didn't even have time to read the news.

So before I settled into the bed this evening, I decided to skim quickly through The Washington Times site and the FOXNews site.  While on the FOX site, I stumbled upon this:

Transgender Inmates Pushes Prison to Allow Sex Change Surgery 

Kosilek was Robert Kosilek when he was convicted in the killing of his wife. In 1993, while in prison, he legally changed his name to Michelle.

Since then, Kosilek has been fighting for the state Department of Correction to pay for sex-change surgery, which can cost from $10,000 to $20,000. After two lawsuits and two trials, the decision now rests with a federal judge.

It's only in America that prisoner's would have any such audacity, right?

"If people are not treated, they suffer tremendously," said Shannon Minter, a board member of the Transgender Law and Policy Institute. "It's just as cruel to withhold treatment for gender-identity disorder as it is to withhold treatment for any other medical issue."

In Massachusetts, four of the 12 inmates diagnosed with gender-identity disorder are receiving hormone shots, including Kosilek. Prison officials also allowed Kosilek to receive laser hair removal, female undergarments and some makeup.

So not only is our court system entertaining this man by not simply dismissing the case, but the prison leadership is perpetuating the problem by allowing bits and pieces of this garbage to go on?  This is absurd!

Inmates in several other states have sued prison officials for sex-change operations. Like Kosilek, they argued that gender-identity disorder is a serious illness that can lead to severe anxiety, depression, suicide attempts and self-castration. They argue that treatment for their condition is a "medical necessity" and denying it would violate the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

"It's the most absurd thing I've ever heard of," said Wisconsin state lawmaker Mark Gundrum, who helped write a state law that bars the Department of Correction from using tax dollars for hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery.

He said the framers of the Constitution "were envisioning preventing people from being burned in oil or burned at the stake," not simply refusing to use taxpayer dollars for inmate sex changes or breast implants.

The law was introduced after Wisconsin inmate Scott Konitzer filed a lawsuit seeking a sex-change operation. The law took effect in January, but is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal.

This guys makes a lot more sense.  What is our legal system coming to?  And why does the ACLU think it needs to involve itself in every issue that ever comes up?  The very fact that this is an issue says something about the sad state of things in some aspects of our culture.  Let's hope the court slaps the ACLU down.

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