Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that a convicted murderer in Massachusetts, serving a life sentence, was constitutionally entitled to a sex change operation. Judge Mark Wolf stated in his 123 page decision that “sex reassignment surgery” is the “only form of adequate medical care” for an inmate who suffers from Gender Identity Disorder. Robert Kosilek, who now goes by the name “Michelle”, murdered his wife in 1990. He has apparently convinced Judge Wolf that it would be “cruel and unusual punishment” for him to have to remain “trapped in a male body.” The court yesterday issued an injunction which will require Massachusetts taxpayers to foot the bill for Kosilek’s sex-change operation. Judge Wolf justified his ruling, saying, “[I]n the United States citizens do not generally have a constitutional right to adequate medical care, but the Eighth Amendment promises prisoners such care.” Granted, the Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment but to apply this to a convicted murderer asking for a sex change operation is a perversion of justice.
As we are still grappling with the fallout from last November’s “Transgender Rights Bill” (See our article on the “stealth bathroom bill” from a month ago) it is interesting to note that even in this radical judicial decision, the judge confirms that transgenderism is recognized as a major mental illness. This means that last November our Legislature enshrined a psychiatric disorder into our anti-discrimination laws, alongside race and religion.
Buried almost half way into the published decision is a not so subtle example of this court’s hostility to people of faith. Kosilek was evaluated over a period of several years by multiple doctors. Some determined that a sex change operation was medically necessary to relieve Kosilek’s severe emotional distress. But other psychiatric and medical professionals found that it was not. One such expert was Dr. Schmidt of Johns Hopkins University. This prestigious medical center had once been the world leader in surgical gender reassignment but they ceased such operations because they determined that it was inappropriate and unsuccessful to surgically treat what is essentially a psychological condition. Nonetheless, Dr. Schmidt’s testimony was dismissed by Judge Wolf because the head of Dr. Schmidt’s department was on record as being against sex-change surgeries, purportedly for religious reasons. Wolf went on to say that this same department head had even been an advisor to the Vatican, which apparently disqualified those who worked under him from being objective or applying “prudent professional standards.” This sort of creeping anti-religious bigotry is even more disconcerting than the clear waste of taxpayer resources acquiescing to convicted murderers.
Mr. Kosilek and his lawyers, along with the encouragement of Judge Wolf, have made a mockery of our justice system. The words of John Adams have never been more appropriate, recognizing that “we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” That is why MFI stands for strengthening the Judeo-Christian values that our nation was founded upon. Without them, our Constitution becomes meaningless, or worse yet, justification for the theater of the absurd.
Most Americans have some idea that the US Constitution guarantees a right to religious liberty. As I’ve practiced constitutional law, however, I’ve often been approached by individuals, churches, and religious organizations with basic questions about this concept. How exactly does “religious liberty” work and what does it entail? As you