A federal judge in Ohio has ordered the reinstatement of a transgendered inmate’s hormone therapy so that he can maintain his status as a female.
Inmate Whitney Lee, 36, housed at the Mansfield Correctional Institution, had been receiving hormone therapy since 1999, but the state of Ohio stopped the therapy in 2012. In his complaint, the inmate claimed that he was returning to his male state, losing breast tissues and growing facial hair, without the hormone therapy. The inmate also claimed to be suffering severe depression. There were even claims the inmate could be suicidal.
The state prison department argued against the claim, saying that a state-sponsored psychiatric exam proved that the inmate, whose real name is Antione Lee, was not suffering any gender identity disorder. The state also said the inmate did not attempt to apply for all the possible remedial procedures with the state before filing the lawsuit.
Judge Algenon Marbley, a U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of Ohio, ruled against the state and demanded the reinstatement of the hormone treatments. Marbley ruled that the temporarily reinstated therapy that was set up earlier should continue.
The state prison system does not provide for hormone therapy unless it is in preparation for sex change surgery.
The prison rules state:
Hormone therapy prescribed for inmates in preparation for gender-change surgery or for the purpose of gender modification shall be evaluated and requires authorization by joint consultation by the chief medical officer, mental-health officer and other top officials.
The inmate had previously received the therapy at home but also in the Hamilton County and Ohio County Justice Centers as well as federal prison. The emergency order was filed by the Cincinnati-based Ohio Justice & Policy Center.
“Deprivation of hormone treatment wreaks havoc on Ms. Lee’s physical and mental health and puts her life in danger,” the complaint read.
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