Judge Rules Wisconsin Must Cover ‘Sex Change’-Related Operations of State Employees

Andrews

MADISON, Wisc. — A federal judge appointed to the bench by then-President Barack Obama has ruled that the State of Wisconsin and its insurers must provide coverage of “sex change”-related operations to state employees.

“[T]he exclusion implicates sex stereotyping by limiting the availability of medical transitioning, if not rendering it economically infeasible, thus requiring transgender individuals to maintain the physical characteristics of their natal sex,” wrote Judge William Conley.

“[T]he exclusion on its face treats transgender individuals differently on the basis of sex, thus triggering the protections of Title VII and the ACA’s (Affordable Care Act’s) anti-discrimination provision,” he stated.

As previously reported, the case involved two male employees at the University of Wisconsin who identify as female: a cancer research assistant who goes by the name Shannon Andrews, and a teaching assistant who goes by the name Alina Boyden. Both had previously filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claiming a violation of Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Andrews obtained the operation in 2015 and paid out of his own pocket. He sought to file a claim for coverage with the Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corporation, but was denied as the procedure “is not covered based upon an exclusion in the plan.”

Boyden has not been able to go through with the surgery as he does not have the funds to cover the operation.

Wisconsin’s Department of Employee Trust Funds had viewed the procedure as not being medically necessary, but decided in 2016 to change its policy due to a clause in the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, that prohibits discrimination based on sex.

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However, just two days before the allowance was to take effect, the department reverted to its original exclusion of “[p]rocedures, services, and supplies related to surgery and sex hormones associated with gender reassignment.”

Therefore, Andrews and Boyden sought right to sue letters from the EEOC, and with the assistance of the American Civil Liberties Union, the two filed a legal challenge to seek an injunction, as well as compensatory and punitive damages.

“As a result of [state policies], plaintiffs’ health insurance plans single out transgender employees for unequal treatment by categorically depriving them of all medical care for gender dysphoria, a serious medical condition codified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and International Classification of Diseases,” the lawsuit read in part.

The State argued that taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for the operations of those who wish to present themselves as the opposite sex, and that providing such coverage could encourage residents who are unhappy with their bodies to obtain the operations.

However, Conley rejected the State’s position, writing on Sept. 18, “[D]efendants creatively argue that to require coverage would ‘insert the State directly into the business of encouraging surgeries meant to conform peoples’ appearances to their own perceived sex stereotypes.’ However, defendants’ position appears unhinged from reality. As an initial matter, removing the exclusion does not compel surgery, nor any other treatment for gender dysphoria.”

“Viewed more generally, all individuals, whether transgender or cisgender, have their own understanding of what it means to be a woman or a man, and the degree to which one’s physical, sexual characteristics need to align with their identity,” he asserted.

Conley opined that while nothing about offering the coverage would seem to compel those diagnosed with gender dysphoria to obtain surgery, excluding such operations from coverage altogether “entrenches the belief that transgender individuals must preserve the genitalia and other physical attributes of their natal sex over not just personal preference, but specific medical and psychological recommendations to the contrary.”

“In this way, defendants’ assertion that the exclusion does not restrict transgender individuals from living their gender identity is entirely disingenuous, at least for some portion of that population who will suffer from profound and debilitating gender dysphoria without the necessary medical transition,” he wrote.

According to the Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin Group Insurance Board had already voted, prior to the ruling, to make the coverage available effective Jan. 1, 2019. Further court proceedings are expected as Andrews and Boyden had requested damages from the defendants.

Scripture states in Deuteronomy 22:5, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment.” The Geneva Study Bible adds in its commentary, “For that alters the order of nature, and shows that you despise God.”

As previously reported, the Bible teaches that all men are born with the Adamic sin nature, and have various inherent inclinations that are contrary to the law of God, being utterly incapable of changing themselves. It is why Jesus outlined in John 3:5-7 that men must be regenerated by the second birth, or they cannot see the kingdom of Heaven.

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God,” he declared. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”

“Bitter experience teaches that the imprisoning net clings too tightly to be stripped from our limbs by our own efforts. Nay rather, the net and the captive are one, and he who tries to cast off the oppression which hinders him from following that which is good is trying to cast off himself,” also wrote the late preacher and Bible commentator Alexander Maclaren.

“But to men writhing in the grip of a sinful past, or paralyzed beyond writhing and indifferent, because [they are] hopeless, or because they have come to like their captivity, comes one whose name is ‘The Breaker,’ whose mission it is to proclaim liberty to the captives, and whose hand laid on the cords that bind a soul, causes them to drop harmless from the limbs and sets the bondsman free.”


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