CHICAGO, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- A Wisconsin attorney asked a federal appeals court to reverse a decision and rule constitutional a statute denying hormone therapy to transgender inmates.
Assistant Attorney General Abigail Potts told a three-judge panel on the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago a federal judge was in error in April when he overthrew as unconstitutional Wisconsin's 2005 "Sex Change Prevention Act," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday.
The trial judge, U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert, said the statute amounts to "deliberate indifference to the plaintiffs' serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment" because it denies hormone therapy to prisoners regardless of their needs or doctors' recommendations.
Potts said the judge looked at what the law would disallow rather than alternatives available to prisoners, such as psychotherapy or treatment with antidepressants.
The appellate judges did not seem to agree with Potts, the Journal Sentinel reported.
They said hormone treatment is now regarded as the appropriate treatment for gender identity disorder, and the state's own expert witness said permitting male inmates to develop feminine traits most likely would not result in increased security risks due to sexual assaults.