The province of Alberta, Canada, has done an aboutface and reinstated funding for gender-reassignment surgeries on the public health-care plan, two years after delisting the procedure as a money-saving measure, reports the Global News.
Health Minister Fred Horne says the policy change, which will enable up to 25 people to undergo gender reassignment a year, was made simply because “it was the right thing to do.”
“This isn’t about being forced to do something,” says the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services’ Kristopher Wells. “The Alberta government doing something because they know it’s the right thing. And that is a huge step forward, not only building a relationship with the LGBT community, but showing to the rest of the world that Alberta values human rights.”
Wells called the move “historic.”
The change will go into effect on June 15, still in time for Pride month. “I was pretty shocked—we weren’t expecting this to go through this soon at all,” says trans activist Angela Reid. “All the messages on Facebook and friends texting me—[I] just lit up with joy.”