During the Republican debate, Presidential Candidate Huckabee stated:
"The military is not a social experiment. The purpose of the military is kill people and break things," Huckabee said during the GOP's top-tier debate. "It is not to transform the culture by trying out some ideas that some people think would make us a different country and more diverse. The purpose is to protect America. I'm not sure how paying for transgender surgery for soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines makes our country safer." (video below) – talkingpointsmemo.com
Will Americans have an issue with paying for soldiers' sex reassignment surgeries? One other large institution that we can look to for a comparison when discussing governmental payment for sex reassignment surgery is our prison system and one state dealing with this issue currently is California. The Guardian reported:
Governor Jerry Brown is allowing parole for a transgender inmate who is trying to force California to become the first state to pay for sex reassignment surgery.
A federal judge in April ordered the state to provide the surgery, which had been scheduled for July. It was delayed after the state appealed.
The governor’s office said on Friday that Brown was taking no action on the Board of Parole Hearings’ recommendation to release Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, which means her parole will proceed.
The decision makes it less likely that the 51-year-old will be able to have surgery funded by the prison before she is released. Parole board spokesman Luis Patino said it usually takes about a week for an inmate to be released after the governor allows a parole to proceed.
[Jeffrey Bryan Norsworthy, now Michelle-Lael Norsworthy,] has lived as a woman since the 1990s. She was diagnosed with gender identity disorder in 1999 and began taking female hormones. She began asking the corrections department for the surgery in 2012 after learning a judge for the first time had ordered Massachusetts to provide an inmate with the procedure. However, that decision was overturned on appeal in December, and the US supreme court declined to intervene.
The ninth circuit agreed to hear California’s appeal of US district judge Jon Tigar’s ruling and a hearing is scheduled for Thursday. The appellate court noted that the case raises serious legal questions about whether denying the surgery violates Norsworthy’s constitutional rights against cruel and unusual punishment.
The state filed paperwork in federal court on Friday saying it has agreed to provide sex reassignment surgery for another inmate, Shiloh Quine, 56, to settle a separate lawsuit.
“CDCR evaluates every case individually, and in the Quine case, every medical doctor and mental health clinician who has reviewed this case, including two independent mental health experts, determined that this surgery is medically necessary for Quine,” corrections department spokesman Jeffrey Callison said in an emailed statement. – the gurardian.com
Is an inmate "trying to force" a state to pay for surgery?
Will a state pay only if there's a lawsuit like in Quine's case?
Is California Governor Brown deliberately dodging the cost of Norsworthy's surgery by not interfering with her parole process?
Is sex reassignment surgery like any other necessary surgery, i.e. ones dealing with cancer, an appendix, or treatment for broken bones or is it more seen as an elective surgery by most of society?
What are your thoughts about the state (prison system) or the federal government (military) needing to pay for sex reassignment surgeries of their prisoners and soldiers respectively?
Is there a difference in the two scenarios?