Lawsuit: Legislative librarian still wants State to pay for 'transition' surgery - Must Read Alaska
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Lawsuit: Legislative librarian still wants State to pay for ‘transition’ surgery

A legislative librarian who works for the State of Alaska continued her lawsuit against the State of Alaska this month, as she and her attorneys argued to a judge that her surgery to make her appear more female should be paid for by the state treasury.

Jennifer Fletcher says the surgery is medically necessary and sued the State of Alaska in 2018 to pay for the transition surgery.

The oral arguments were Feb. 19 in front of U.S. District Court Judge Russel Holland. Lambda Legal represented Fletcher, and the Department of Law’s labor and state affairs attorney, William Milks, represented the State of Alaska.

The case made by Fletcher is that surgery that makes a man’s body conform to that of a woman’s shape is medically necessary.

“AlaskaCare singles out transgender employees for unequal treatment by categorically depriving them of coverage for surgical treatment for gender dysphoria, which is the clinically significant distress that can result from the dissonance between one’s gender identity and sex assigned at birth. This exclusion contravenes a well-established medical consensus that such surgical treatment can be medically necessary and even life-saving,” the lawsuit says.

It goes on to argue that sex is assigned at birth based on the existence of certain genitalia, and that this practice is wrong-headed.

“An individual’s sex is generally assigned solely on the basis of external genitalia at the time of birth. Other sex-related characteristics such as chromosomes, hormone levels, internal reproductive organs, secondary sex characteristics, and gender identity, are typically not assessed or considered during the assignment of sex at birth.”

The argument leads to a conclusion that gender is mistakenly assigned at birth, since such assignment based on genitalia is unreliable.

The lawsuit says that gender dysphoria can lead to severe anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation or suicide. If untreated, it gets worse over time, Fletcher’s lawsuit claims.

“The longer an individual goes without adequate treatment, the greater the risk of severe harms to the individual’s health,” the lawsuit says.

Fletcher, who started working for the State of Alaska in 2012, transitioned to living openly as a woman in 2014. She legally changed her name to Jennifer Rae Fletcher and has updated her legal documents, including her driver’s license and passport to indicate she is a woman. She went to Thailand to have vaginoplasty and mammoplasty surgeries.  Vaginoplasty is generally a penile inversion done to to create a vagina, and mammoplasty involves breast implants.

 In 2018, the AlaskaCare plan began covering transition-related hormone therapy, but still does not pay for transition-related surgical treatment.

In October, Judge Holland sided with Fletcher when the State asked for the case to be dismissed, and he scheduled the oral arguments for this month. Regardless of Holland’s decision, the case can be appealed by either party; it is in the federal court system.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • So does this include cutting off his penis?

    • Oops, I didn’t read the remainder of the article…penile inversion.

    • I don’t know, a bottle of hair dye that is one color, some makeup would be a start. The penis is already gone and probably being worn by some freak over in Thailand. She already got a boob job so that’s done. I’m not sure what she’s asking, maybe some bone structure in the face, shorter arms, take out the Adam’s apple that sort of thing. She already paid for the major stuff, I wonder why she didn’t get the state to pay for chop it off? Maybe she just ran out of money. We can afford this I don’t want my missing PFD to be found in or on her body.

      • HIS body

  • Ahhhh no. We can’t keep our ferries running and schools funded, I don’t want to pay for anybody’s transitional anything. If you want to pay for something, I’m thinking I need a chin lift and tummy tuck. No No No No. Crazy world we’re living in. If it wants it, it should save up and pay for it.

  • My girlfriend wants breast augmentation and I need a larger penis. You damn right I want Alaskans to pay for it. Both of em.

    • You said it wrong, your girlfriend wants you to have a larger penis and you want her to have bigger boobs. Fixed it for you.

      • Yur the man, Greg. Lol.

      • Damn skippy!

  • This thing needs psychiatric care, not surgery.

  • As do a few readers of MRAK. Not many thankfully. But some!

    • Just curious, anyone have a ball park figure on the costs of such treatments?

      • In the private sector…….$27K.
        If government pays……….$108K

  • I don’t have the words to express how messed up this is.

  • Liberalism is a mental disorder!

  • Gender dysphoria is a psychological condition that needs professional psychological treatment. There are many psychological challenges for folks – if I have an extreme fear of heights, can I demand that no buildings be built over one story high so I am not discriminated against regarding where I can go without anxiety? We now say biological men can use woman and girls locker rooms at our public facilities, causing anxiety for the women and girls. Don’t their feelings matter? We are changing our societal norms to accommodate a very tiny fraction of the population. Liberal madness.

    • ….the world of political correctness, Mayor. Hence, Trump in 2020 …..and beyond.

  • One of the messages herein is that the radical things we hear from the extreme ends of the political spectrum (both left and right) can actually change our thoughts and hence behaviors over time. To wit:

    – I’m born male but am actually female.
    – I’m whatever gender I choose to be on the day.
    – Obama wasn’t born in the US.
    – Hillary runs a child porn ring out of a pizza shop.
    – Global warming isn’t caused by mankind’s actions.
    – The government is coming to take away your guns.
    – Trickle-down economics actually work.

    Tell people something long enough, and sadly, they may very well begin to believe it, and then act on it.

    Truth is dying and facts are dead. What a sorry state of affairs.

  • https://www.heritage.org/gender/commentary/sex-reassignment-doesnt-work-here-the-evidence

    The article above details that reassignment of a gender doesn’t work…why should the state be responsible for paying for an expensive medically unnecessary procedure. I believe if a person wishes to reassign their gender it should be considered cosmetic. If a person has missing or bad teeth it could be argued that this emotionally impacts the patient and yet that person is financially responsible for improving the look of their smile. Per the John Hopkins paper the benefits of gender reassignment clearly do not outweigh the risks and the state shouldn’t be responsible for the cost of an elective medically unnecessary procedure. Our state is unable pay for those who do have medically necessary needs so why in the world would we pay for this kind of surgery before taking care of our sick and dying.

  • If gov’t funds are generally spent with public use in mind then maybe there’s a solution in this mess. A good first test would be that perhaps Ms. Fletcher could use this new found curviness to attempt relieving the pressure associated with the native community’s cultural acceptance of forced familiarity with regard to their fairer sex.

    That might be a pretty nice rack. Maybe this is a good investment?

    And somebody ought to shoot a note to Sean Parnell, too. Maybe fire up the old “Alaska Men Choose Respect” machine. It wouldn’t really change anything at this point but it didn’t change anything then either so we’re not behind.

    Not behind in a curvy way anyway.

  • Trans is elective.
    The state nor fed should have to pay for it.
    What if my 78 VW camper van thinks it should be a new Tesla Truck?
    Should the state have to pay for it? No.
    Nor for sex change either.
    Spend the money on ferries, not fairies.

  • We should not let the crazy people rule our present and future

  • Dear me. This poor, confused fellow would have been clearly recognized as an unhinged freak in need of institutionalization for his own safety and the betterment of society back in my day.

    Of course we wouldn’t want to unnecessarily intrude on the lives of harmless free-spirited folks but Mr. Fletcher is obviously very ill. His ghastly appearance alone and the mutilation he’s subjected himself to scream loudly of the sort of degeneracy that we wouldn’t want children or decent people anywhere near.

    And his insistence that the State pay for any more of his maiming is further evidence that the State should make room on our payroll for a normal legislative librarian (if we even need one) and pay for a nice, cozy room for him in API instead.

    Not to put too fine a point on it or to be mean, but can you just imagine sitting in a coffee shop, washing down a tasty snack with your beverage of choice, and trying not to laugh and/or gag when Mr. Fletcher sashays in looking like that and demanding that you pay for whatever he wants? It’s enough to make an old woman want to punch him in the neck, I tell ya’.

    • You might benefit from a little tolerance there, Ms. Sally. I’d prescribe that you bring your grandkids to the Loussac such that you can all enjoy men in dresses instructing your once removed progeny on the features and benefits of hanging out w/ She Hers It Fletcher and others of like mind. Perhaps then you’d be more willing to rub a bit of Alaska’s oil money on Fletch’s quest to add, change and delete.

      And your reference to a ghastly appearance is rude. Every horse needs a rider and ultimately our friend Fletch here is simply asking that someone pay such that the next jockey has a more authentic experience.

  • For gosh sake, Trouserbark, I’m really trying to be nice here but the social fabric is becoming more stained and tattered on a daily basis and any rational, seasoned observer can see that we were all better off when these kooks and their unnatural behaviors were kept in the closet.

    Y’know, there’s much to be said for minding one’s own business but there’s also much to be said for acknowledging that the “the emperor wears no clothes” or that “Mr. Fletcher and his kind need to get back in their closet and keep their damned hands in their own damned pockets” if we’ve actually devolved as a society to the point that can’t humanely whisk them away for some necessary corrective reprogramming.

  • good luck, DUDE!

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