Calif. court nixes surgery for transgender inmate

September 21, 2011 - 7:10 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California appeals court has rejected a transgender inmate's attempt to force the state to pay for her sex reassignment surgery and to move her to a women's prison.

The First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco didn't explain in a brief order published Wednesday why it concluded that Lyralisa Stevens is not entitled to a gender change operation while serving 50 years to life at Vacaville State Prison for murder.

The court also says prison officials were protecting Stevens adequately by assigning her to a single cell apart from male inmates. It says that if her housing arrangements are changed or her personal safety is "otherwise compromised," Stevens can petition for additional relief then.

Prison Law Office attorney Alison Hardy, who represents Stevens, says she doesn't know if she'll appeal to the California Supreme Court.