Judge rejects Arizona lawmakers’ bid to block gender-affirming surgery deal

In a case brought by a University of Arizona professor, a federal judge affirmed her earlier ruling requiring the state to cover gender affirming surgery for state and university employees.

Howard Fischer

PHOENIX — Rebuffing Arizona’s Republican legislative leaders, a federal judge has signed an order to permanently require the state to pay for gender-affirming surgery for its own and university employees and retirees.But the state won’t be paying the attorneys who filed the lawsuit as much as they had sought.The case stems from efforts by Russell Toomey, a transgender professor at the University of Arizona, to get the state’s insurance plan to cover the cost of a long-sought hysterectomy.Toomey charged in the lawsuit filed in federal court that the state’s insurance policy covers the cost of all “medically necessary” surgeries. And he argued that the procedure he wanted fit the category of medically necessary for his gender dysphoria, a sense of mismatch between biological sex and gender identity.

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