Berkeley Taxpayers May Pay For Sex-Change Surgery

   BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Taxpayers may soon be paying for sex-change surgeries in Berkeley.

   The City Council votes Tuesday night on setting aside $20,000 annually for gender-reassignment surgery for city employees. Berkeley health insurance providers Kaiser and Health Net don’t pay for the procedure.

   The benefit would allow employees to collect the money before the sex-change operation, which can cost more than $50,000.

   To receive the payout, employees would have to have lived as the opposite sex for at least one year and undergone hormone therapy. They also would have to have worked for the city at least a year.

   City Councilman Darryl Moore, who originally proposed the idea in 2007, tells the San Francisco Chronicle the benefit is what is “just and fair” for the transgender community.


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