Edmo v. Idaho Department of Corrections
I would like to express my concern regarding the recent injunction given by the U.S. District Court of Idaho in the case of Edmo v. Idaho Department of Corrections.
First let me be clear, if a person who identifies as the opposite sex as an adult wishes to change his or her identity then let them. Also, let THEM provide the money required to pay for the procedure. It is my belief the Judge Winmill is setting a dangerous precedent in this decision. The reason Edmo is in prison is for a crime, a SEXUAL violence crime against a MINOR child. It is stated that Edmo had been living fully as a woman prior to incarceration. Fine, let Edmo live in the manner that has been chosen. However, when a crime has been committed against another resulting in an order for incarceration, we run into the problem of placement within the correctional system.
Judge Winmill states, “Many transgender individuals are comfortable living with their gender role, expression and identity without surgery. For others, however, gender confirmation surgery ... is the only effective treatment.” Again, if the individual is an adult making the decision for his or her self, then let that individual pay for the procedure by an agency willing to perform the procedure. For the Court to order Idaho and the medical contractor to provide this procedure sets a precedent that an incarcerated person may make the State pay for this expensive procedure. Where does the State get the money to run the Department of Corrections? From the tax payer. As a tax payer, I see we have a greater need in the State of Idaho to use the tax payer dollars for such needs as education, needs of the disabled and elderly, etc.
Further, this sets a stage to encourage those who identify as the opposite sex wanting to have a gender confirmation surgery who cannot or will not work to afford the procedure to commit a crime that will result in incarceration. Once incarcerated, this individual based upon Edmo v. Idaho Department of Corrections can pursue gender confirmation surgery at the expense of the State, i.e. the Idaho tax payer. The State and its contractor should not be responsible for someone’s gender confirmation surgery, nor should the State bar the surgery should the individual have the means to pay for the surgery.
Solution. . . . Though not probably the most optimum, but certainly more likely to be the least burdensome on the already stretched tax payer dollars is to find a middle ground. In the case of Edmo, move Edmo to the women’s prison providing Edmo with a solitary room (for greatest protection) while letting Edmo have daily interaction during day hours with the women population (social engagement). Then allow for gender confirmation surgery at the time Edmo can personally cover the cost of the surgery. Any friend or family member can work to help raise the money needed to assist in covering the cost of the surgery. This solution puts the cost where it should be and it reduces the chances of promoting acts of crime with the goal of incarceration for gender confirmation surgery upon incarceration. When a person is desperate enough to obtain a goal, they will do things uncharacteristic or unimaginable.
Concerned Idaho Tax Payer,