Wednesday, February 03, 2010
GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders – the group that brought “gay marriage” to Massachusetts) won a big case against the IRS for “transgender rights”.
Former construction worker Rhiannon O’Donnabhain wanted to write off his “male-to-female” sex-change procedures as necessary medical treatments. But the IRS denied the deduction, declaring the procedures “cosmetic”. Then the U.S. Tax Court bought GLAD’s arguments and overruled the IRS.
“In this landmark ruling, the Tax Court affirmed the consensus position of the medical establishment that transition-related medical care is essential for many transgender people,” explained Jennifer Levi, Director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project.
He’s a “woman” now, and gets a tax deduction too.
The AP reported:
The US Tax Court ruled yesterday that a Massachusetts woman should be allowed to deduct the costs of her [sic] sex-change operation, a decision that could have wide implications for transgender people.
Rhiannon O’Donnabhain, who was born a man, sued the Internal Revenue Service after the agency rejected a $5,000 deduction for approximately $25,000 in medical expenses associated with the sex-change surgery.
The IRS said the surgery was cosmetic and not medically necessary.
In its decision yesterday, the tax court said the IRS position was “at best a superficial characterization of the circumstances’’ that is “thoroughly rebutted by the medical evidence.’’ …
“I think what the court is saying is that surgery and hormone therapy for transgender people to alleviate the stress associated with gender identity disorder is legitimate medical care,’’ said Jennifer Levi, a GLAD attorney. …
The court got down to details, noting he could not deduct the itemized cost for his “breast augmentation surgery, because it found that she [sic] had achieved breast enhancement through hormone treatments.”
Yikes. So what we see in the photo is a combination of hormone treatments plus breast augmentation surgery. What kind of documentation did the court look at to determine that? They must have studied before and after photos, to weigh hormones vs. surgery? How did they determine what breast size was adequate for his mental health needs?
This will be a huge precedent for health coverage in this country, especially as the government takes more and more control. We’re sure that no Massachusetts insurer would now dare to cross GLAD and deny any and all transgender procedures to patients. If the Transgender Rights bill is passed here in Massachusetts, any discrimination on the basis of “gender identity or expression” will be banned.
So all citizens will be underwriting such procedures through their insurance premiums and through our tax system.
But the transgender advocates are also tying themselves -- and us -- up in illogical knots over the grounds for their appeals. In this IRS case, they apparently won by arguing that transgenderism is a “serious mental disorder” needing treatment – including hormone therapy and “sex-reassignment” surgery.
At the same time, the activists are arguing that transgenderism is a normal variation on the “sexuality spectrum” and are actively fighting to de-classify it as a disorder in the DSM-IV manual. They are using this “normal” argument to push their “Transgender Rights and Hate Crimes Bill” in the Massachusetts legislature. That’s so they can deny that the government will be actively sanctioning and promoting a disorder in protecting “gender identity or expression.”
How will they resolve this contradiction?
By the way, O’Donnabhain is a member of the Mass. Commission on Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Youth. He’s there to help confused teenagers.