AP Legal Affairs Writer
BOSTON (AP) - A federal judge has ordered the Massachusetts Department of Correction to provide a taxpayer-funded sex-change operation for a transgender inmate serving life in prison for murder.
U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled Tuesday in the case of Michelle Kosilek, who was born as a man but has received hormone treatments and lives as a woman in an all-male prison. Robert Kosilek was convicted of murder in the killing of his wife in 1990.
Wolf is believed to be the first federal judge to order prison officials to provide the surgery for a transgender inmate.
Michelle Kosilek first sued the Department of Correction 12 years ago. Two years later, Wolf ruled that Kosilek was entitled to treatment for gender-identity disorder, but stopped short of ordering surgery. Kosilek sued again in 2005, arguing that the surgery is a medical necessity.
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