Transgender deputy suing Georgia county over well being protection for reassignment surgical procedure goes to trial

Transgender deputy suing Georgia county over well being protection for reassignment surgical procedure goes to trial

MACON, Ga. — A sheriff’s deputy returned to court docket Monday for a civil trial searching for financial damages from the Georgia county that employs her after a federal choose dominated her bosses illegally denied the deputy well being protection for gender reassignment surgical procedure.

Sgt. Anna Lange needs a jury to award her damages for emotional misery, lawyer charges and reimbursement of greater than $10,000 in out-of-pocket medical prices she incurred as a result of Houston County excluded surgical procedure for the transgender lady from its medical insurance plan.

U.S. District Courtroom Decide Marc Treadwell dominated in June that the county’s refusal to cowl Lange’s prescribed gender reassignment therapies amounted to unlawful intercourse discrimination underneath the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Treadwell’s order cited the U.S. Supreme Courtroom’s 2020 resolution discovering {that a} Michigan funeral residence couldn’t fireplace an worker for being transgender. He additionally discovered it undisputed that Lange’s surgical procedure was “medically obligatory.”

Nonetheless, the choose deemed there was inadequate proof to resolve as a matter of legislation whether or not the county deliberately discriminated in opposition to Lange and due to this fact owed her financial damages. He ordered a civil trial so {that a} jury may resolve the difficulty.

Treadwell wrote in his June order that Lange informed the sheriff and different county officers in 2018 that she wished to start dressing as a girl at work, whereas inquiring about whether or not Houston County’s well being plan would cowl gender reassignment surgical procedure.

Sheriff Cullen Talton, first elected sheriff in 1972, informed Lange he doesn’t “consider in intercourse modifications” earlier than in the end granting permission her permission to decorate as a girl, the choose wrote.

However the county well being plan had excluded intercourse change surgical procedure and medicines since 1998, and proof confirmed Houston County officers opted to maintain the exclusion even after their insurance coverage firm suggested them in 2016 that the rule was discriminatory underneath the federal Inexpensive Care Act.

County officers argued they didn’t deliberately discriminate in opposition to Lange as a result of she was transgender, however fairly had been attempting to maintain medical insurance prices low.

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