Earlier this week we heard that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is open to reviewing the Military’s ban on transgender people.
But as it stands, they aren’t allowed to join. And with that ban also comes a ban on medical services related to transgender issues.
For Chelsea Manning, who is currently serving 35 years in military incarceration for providing classified information to WikiLeaks, that means no hormones.
But now the Pentagon is reportedly considering transferring the 26-year-old inmate to a civilian prison, allowing her to receive hormone treatment to transition physically from male to female.
Officials admit privately that the move does have a self-serving angle. Some fear that if Manning were to be kept in the military facility and banned from transitioning, the argument for cruel and unusual punishment could be made on medical grounds.
LGBTI rights group Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that fights for transgender prisoner rights nationwide, has an idea.
Regarding one particular case on which the SPLC is working, transgender prisoner Ashley Diamond said:
“No one would deny a diabetic prisoner insulin. No one would sentence a person to a gender change.
But because I am transgender, I am denied basic medical care and forced to change gender. Nobody should be sentenced to torture like this.”
Judges tend to agree with Diamond when the issue reaches courtrooms.
h/t GayStar News