Lawmakers urge Mass. to appeal sex-change ruling


BOSTON (AP) - A group of 50 state legislators has asked the state Department of Correction to appeal a ruling from a federal court judge who ordered prison officials to provide sex-reassignment surgery to a transgender inmate.

Sen. Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, a Republican from Gloucester, said the group is "greatly troubled" by the court's finding that the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment requires the state to provide the surgery to Michelle Kosilek, who is serving a life sentence for murder.

The group sent a letter Thursday to DOC Commissioner Luis Spencer. The letter argues that if the ruling is left standing, it "will compel an absurd action" by the department.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf ruled Tuesday that the state must provide the surgery because it is the only way to treat Kosilek's severe gender-identity disorder.