By Mark Ellis
Shiloh Heavenly Quine, 57, a convicted murderer serving a life sentence in California, became the first prison inmate in the U.S. to have gender reassignment surgery paid for by state taxpayers.
A large portion of the roughly $100,000 in medical costs and medications connected with the procedure will be reimbursed by federal taxpayers, according to news sources.
Quine had the surgery in San Francisco January 5th, 2017, and will be transferred to a women’s prison when he leaves the hospital.
Quine and an accomplice kidnapped and fatally shot a father of three, Shahid Baig, in downtown L.A. in 1980. During the drug-fueled crime, Quine also stole $80 and the victim’s car. He received a life sentence without the possibility of parole as a result.
After a court battle in California over the requested procedure ended in 2015, the state of California agreed to fashion new policies allowing inmates to apply to a committee for sex change surgery. Officials are currently evaluating 64 other requests for the surgery.
Additionally, California will also supply nightgowns, scarves, and necklaces to male prisoners who perceive themselves as female.
Prior to the surgery, Quine had his eyelids tattooed blue and his eyebrows and lashes tattooed black because he lacked cosmetics in prison.
The daughter of Quine’s victim is angry about the policy and its outcome. “My dad begged for his life,” Farida Baig told AP. “It made me dizzy and sick. I’m helping pay for his surgery. I live in California. It’s kind of like a slap in the face.”
The state was legally obliged to pay for the operation, according to the courts’ interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.
“The 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires that prisons provide inmates with medically necessary treatment for medical and mental health conditions including inmates diagnosed with gender dysphoria,” according to corrections officials.
Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, a transgender former inmate, won a federal court order in 2015 mandating that California pay for her gender confirmation surgery, but she was placed on parole before she could have the operation, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.