The State of Wisconsin is back to doing battle with Scott Konitzer, who now goes by the name of Donna Dawn Konitzer, at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wis.
The state has been paying for Konitzer's hormone therapy since 1999, and for a while he'd been trying to get the state to pay for his sex change operation, too.[jump]
But a few years ago he agreed to a settlement in which the state agreed to supply him with brassieres, a private toilet and shower, if in turn he'd knock off trying to force the state to pay for the surgery.
But according to court documents obtained by AP, he's complaining that prison guards won't call him by his adopted name, they won't give him access to makeup, and he says the settlement was coerced. He's now rejecting the agreement and seeking to have his lawsuit reinstated.
Konitzer's case has been making headlines in Wisconsin for years, and will probably keep on doing so since he isn't eligible for parole until 2026. Along the way it hasn't produced any easy answers. No state has ever paid for a prisoner's sex change operation, and Wisconsin doesn't want to be the first.
University of Texas professor Walter Meyer, an expert in such matters, told the Journal Sentinel a few years ago that while Konitzer's condition is a very real medical issue, it would be a bad idea for the state to pay for a prisoner's gender reassignment surgery.
"There would be people lining up to be in prison," he said. "Some of my patients would commit crimes just to get free surgery."