Rep. Rogers Amends Budget to Block Prisoner Sex Change Payments

State Rep. John Rogers said he is disappointed in a recent ruling in the U.S District Court where a judge ruled that the state’s taxpayers must pay for an inmate’s sex reassignment surgery.

A former chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, State Representative John H. Rogers (D-Norwood) today filed an amendment to a line-item in the state’s budget that pays out judgments for the state’s losses in court. 

Rogers said he is disappointed in a recent ruling in the U.S District Court where a judge ruled that the state’s taxpayers must pay for an inmate’s sex reassignment surgery. The Rogers Amendment would block any payments unless the matter is appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“It is difficult for many to believe at a time when 225,000 of our state’s citizens are out of work and even millions more struggling to get by that they should be forced to pay for a sex change of a convicted murderer, who seemingly has more rights on the inside than law-abiding citizens on the outside,” said Rogers.

The amendment restricts item 1599-3384 in section 2 of the state budget which sets aside money “for the payment of certain court judgments, settlements and legal fees... which were ordered to be paid in the current fiscal year or a prior fiscal year”.

The inmate, Michelle l. Kosilek, who was born Robert Kosilek and married to Cheryl Kosilek, is serving a life sentence in MCI- Norfolk for her murder in 1990.  Kosilek sued the state’s Department of Corrections claiming that the state’s denial of her sex change operation from a man to a woman is a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

Rogers says that he respects the District Court’s authority to hand down such a ruling but says “I respectfully disagree with the ruling itself and that state taxpayers should not have to pay the bill at least until the  final arbiter of the US Constitution, the Supreme Court, has the final say.”

Donna Lane October 20, 2012 at 03:07 PM
I don't always agree with Mr. Rogers, but kudos on this one. I am appalled that the court made this judgment. Cruel and unusual punishment for Kosliek? It's more like cruel and unusual punishment for taxpayers!
Ken B. October 21, 2012 at 08:50 PM
With all due respect to "Mr. Rogers" can you say, "The horse has already left the barn ?" I knew you could.
Lynne Roberts October 22, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Kosliek gave up his 'right' when he murdered. He has no right to taxpayer money to pay for this operation; the court made an error. The Constitution protects the 'right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' until you become a criminal. Cruel and unusual? He took a life!! He is a murderer and now must pay the price. His struggle with who he 'wants' to be ... is HIS problem not ours. He made a CHOICE to murder someone, now he has to live with the fallout of that. If he had not murdered someone he would still be free... living his life .....engaging in his "pursuit of happiness" in becoming who he 'wants' to be.
Zoe Brain October 24, 2012 at 08:18 AM
The judge found that the one and only reason for denying medical treatment that every medic, both the DOC's and the succession of experts they hired hoping to get a different answer, all agreed was the basic, standard, medically necessary treatment for this condition was that it was unpopular with the press, politicians, and the voting public. Rep Rogers has not objected in the past when murderers have gotten far more expensive treatment. The 8th amendment prohibits withholding necessary medical care, and courts have repeatedly ruled that it's the medical profession that decides what's "medically necessary", not voters, not bureaucrats, and not politicians..He accepts that, always has. Except when it comes to Transsexuals. Because they're Icky. The voting public thinks this must be some sort of "elective" or "cosmetic" treatment, because they don't know any better. It's just common-sense, like the world being flat. If the voting public had looked at the issue, they'd see it's an anatomical, not a psychiatric problem. See for example: " Male–to–female transsexuals have female neuron numbers in a limbic nucleus". Kruiver et al J Clin Endocrinol Metab (2000) 85:2034–2041 I over-simplify, but "anatomically female brain in otherwise mostly anatomically male body" captures the essence, a medical condition that causes such intense misery that most suicide without treatment. The cure is to align body with brain, and cure rate is 80-98% for a one-off cost of $25,000.
Lynne Roberts November 01, 2012 at 08:10 PM
It doesn't matter whether it is anatomical or psychiatric. It is not life threatening. He does not have cancer and needs treatment, or leukemia or a brain tumor. What would he be doing if he weren't in prison? Why didn't he have this operation if it is so necessary before he murdered someone? I can try to understand the conflicts he must feel; but as I said before, he murdered someone, there is no way I believe this is "necessary medical care." If it were, he would have already had it done. In our country if you can't afford truly life saving medical treatment we have a financial safety net for that......This does not fit that criteria. We all make choices in life. By murdering someone, he made a choice that cut off his options.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »