Shortly before the budget bill passed, Republicans tacked on Amendment 152, which bans the state from paying for sex change operations.
"I think we certainly have better uses of our DSHS medical dollars than performing sex changes," said Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, who sponsored the amendment after a recent state auditor's finding that the state had paid for sex-change-related care.
But Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, said that she'd looked into the matter. "These were not direct expenditures for these different procedures," she said. "They were for complications after a procedure, such as a major infection." The state is not, she said, paying for sex changes.
Sen. Val Stevens, R-Arlington, shared with the Senate the tale of two married friends, Joe and Donna, who'd been "lulled into believing that a sex change was the thing they should be doing." After the operations, she said, the two concluded that they'd been turned into "monsters" who would have to be on drugs for the rest of their lives to maintain their appearances. "I cannot tell you the anguish that these people went through," Stevens said.
The amendment passed.