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LGBTI Laws & Policies - Court Cases

The Nebraska Supreme Court unanimously holds that the Richardson County Sheriff is liable both for his failure to protect Brandon Teena and separately for his abusive treatment of him.

Reversing an order granting preliminary injunctive relief in Welch v. Brown, 13-15023, and affirming the denial of preliminary injunctive relief in Pickup v. Brown, 12-17681, the panel held that California Senate Bill 1172, which bans state-licensed mental health providers from engaging in “sexual orientation change efforts” with patients under 18 years of age, does not violate the free speech rights of practitioners or minor patients, is neither vague nor overbroad, and does not violate parents’ fundamental rights. The panel held that Senate Bill 1172 regulates professional conduct, not speech and therefore was subject only to a rational basis review.

“The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that Ophelia Azriel De'lonta, born Michael Stokes, can argue that denying her the surgery violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.”

This news article reports on the unconstitutionality of a state law in Wisconsin, which banned transgender inmates from receiving hormone therapy.

A federal district court ordered the Missouri Department of Corrections (MDOC) and its contracted healthcare provider, Corizon LLC, to immediately provide Jessica Hicklin, a 38-year-old transgender woman incarcerated at the Potosi Correctional Center in Mineral Point, with care that her doctors deem to be medically necessary treatment for her gender dysphoria, including hormone therapy, access to permanent body hair removal, and access to gender-affirming canteen items.

"This guide identifies laws, court decisions, advocacy tips, and other resources that may be helpful for adult transgender prisoners. Each transgender person’s experience in prison and jail is different, in part because the conditions vary a great deal from one prison to another and change over time. However, the safety and health of every transgender prisoner in the United States is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution no matter where the prisoner is held" (p. 2). Sections cover: the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA); safety and protection from violence; medical care; housing and administrative segregation; searches and privacy; safely preserving and enforcing your rights; and additional resources—legal and advocacy organizations, and links to useful documents.

Know Your Rights: Laws, Court Decisions, and Advocacy Tips to Protect Transgender Prisoners Cover

This case involves important issues that arise under the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We are asked to determine whether the district court erred in concluding that the Massachusetts Department of Correction (“DOC”) has violated the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the Eighth Amendment by providing allegedly inadequate medical care to prisoner Michelle Kosilek (“Kosilek”). More precisely, we are faced with the question whether the DOC's choice of a particular medical treatment is constitutionally inadequate, such that the district court acts within its power to issue an injunction requiring provision of an alternative treatment-a treatment which would give rise to new concerns related to safety and prison security.

After carefully considering the community standard of medical care, the adequacy of the provided treatment, and the valid security concerns articulated by the DOC, we conclude that the district court erred and that the care provided to Kosilek by the DOC does not violate the Eighth Amendment. We therefore reverse the district court's grant of injunctive relief, and we remand with instructions to dismiss the case.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar ruled in San Francisco that refusing to pay for the surgery denied 51-year-old convicted killer Michelle-Lael Norsworthy (formerly Jeffrey Bryan Norsworthy) constitutionally adequate medical treatment. He issued an injunction compelling the state to provide the surgery, which could cost up to $100,000.

A District of Columbia district court opinion regarding the treatment of Pattie Hammond Shaw, a transgendered female, upon her arrest and while she was detained. Eighth Amendment claims were granted in part and denied in part.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reached a groundbreaking settlement with Shiloh Quine, a transgender woman held in a men’s prison, to move her to a women’s facility and provide medical care, including gender-affirming surgery, determined necessary by several medical and mental health professionals.


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