A transgender inmate is suing Indiana’s prison system for denying his requests to undergo hormone therapy.
Anthony Loveday, 55, claims the Indiana Department of Correction’s (DOC) decision to deny his hormone therapy is cruel and unusual punishment, according to the complaint obtained by the Indianapolis Star.
Loveday, who is biologically male but identifies as female, stated in the lawsuit that he experienced depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts because the state would not provide him hormone therapy.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the lawsuit on Loveday’s behalf and is arguing that the state is violating the Eighth Amendment by “remaining deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate.”
“If an inmate enters the Department of Correction and is diagnosed with cancer two years into their sentence, the DOC would treat the cancer,” one of Loveday’s attorneys, Jan Mensz, told the Star.
The lawsuit states that a doctor at the Indiana State Prison diagnosed him with gender dysphoria, a mental health condition where a person’s physical gender at birth comes into conflict with the one with whom the person identifies.
Loveday received “talk therapy” from a mental health professional at the prison twice a month, but he submitted a request to receive hormone therapy on August 18.
The department denied his request a month later, citing an existing policy stating that the prison is only obligated to provide hormone therapy to inmates who had been receiving it before their incarceration.
Loveday began serving time at Indiana State Prison in Michigan City in 2008 and had not received the hormone treatment before entering prison.
He is serving time after being convicted of methamphetamine possession, child exploitation, and unlawful firearm possession by a serious felon.