WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Editor's note: Video in this story is from previous coverage.
A federal judge says the Houston County sheriff must pay for gender confirmation surgery for a longtime investigator.
13WMAZ has been covering the case since 2019 when Anna Lange sued the county because it denied health care coverage for her surgery.
She told Sheriff Cullen Talton the previous year that she identified as a woman, planned to dress as a woman on the job, and wanted to go undergo surgery, but Houston County’s health care coverage prohibited coverage for sex reassignment.
Judge Marc Treadwell’s ruling says that violates Lange’s right to equal protection under the Constitution.
For example, the county agreed they’d pay for a mastectomy for a breast-cancer patient, but not for sex reassignment.
The judge says it discriminates against trans individuals, but his ruling does not say what the county should do for Lange. According to court records, her surgery would cost around $25,000.
We’ll have more on the case and what it means on 13WMAZ News at 5 and 6.