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Transgender murderer denied sex change surgery in prison

Michelle Kosilek has been living as a woman since shortly after she shot dead her wife in 1990.

THE US SUPREME Court has rejected an appeal from a convicted murderer in Massachusetts who had been seeking taxpayer-funded sex-reassignment surgery in prison.

Michelle Kosilek, who was born Robert, shot her wife Cheryl Kosilek in 1990, and is currently serving a life sentence.

The justices of the Supreme Court – the highest court of appeal in the United States – today allowed a lower-court ruling to stand.

That ruling, in federal appeals court in Boston, overturned a landmark 2012 order that the state of Massachusetts must provide the sex-reassignment surgery.

Transgender Rights Michelle Kosilek, then named Robert, is taken into custody in 1990. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Kosilek has been living as a woman for more than 20 years, and receiving hormone treatment at a medium-security prison in Norfolk, Massachusetts.

She has waged a lengthy fight for the surgery she says is necessary to relieve the mental anguish caused by gender-identity disorder.

The Massachusetts Department of Corrections, however, lists Kosilek’s gender as “Male.”

Courts throughout the US have found that prisons must evaluate transgender inmates to determine their health care needs, but most have ordered hormone treatments and psychotherapy, rather than surgery.

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

Read: Transgender man says he would have to be sterilised before getting gender surgery>

Read: ‘Nobody should be forced to get a divorce to have their gender recognised’>

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Dan MacGuill

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