Transgender Rights Group Sues State Over Care Limitation

Kyle Potter, Brian Bakst | Associated Press | South Florida Gay News | December 18, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota gay rights advocacy group and a transgender man are seeking to overturn the state’s bar on public health programs covering gender reassignment procedures in a lawsuit filed Thursday, arguing that ban treats transgender men and women as inferior.

OutFront Minnesota challenged the state’s more than 10-year-old law on behalf of Evan Thomas, a 63-year-old who began identifying as a man in 2013 but was denied surgery to remove breasts earlier this year. Thomas is on Medical Assistance, one of the state’s subsidized health care programs for low-income residents. He was granted a legal name and gender change in July.

The organization argues the ban on public funds going toward gender reassignment surgeries and therapies unfairly singles out residents with gender dysphoria, a condition in which people feel the opposite of their biological sex. OutFront said it’s unjust that a woman suffering a different condition would have a breast removal surgery or hysterectomy covered through the state, while a person born as a woman suffering gender dysphoria would be denied the same treatment.

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