INDIANAPOLIS — A transgender inmate is suing the Indiana Department of Correction commissioner over denied requests for hormone therapy.
Anthony Loveday, 55, claims the department’s hormone therapy denials are a cruel and unusual punishment, The Indianapolis Star reported.
Loveday identifies as female. She is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana. The lawsuit said she experiences anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts because of the hormone therapy denial.
According to the lawsuit, Loveday was diagnosed with gender dysphoria two years ago. Gender dysphoria is a mental health condition that involves a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the one the person identifies with, according to the American Psychiatric Association.
The Indiana ACLU’s lawsuit said the 8th Amendment prohibits the government “from remaining deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate.”
Loveday had been seeing a mental health professional for “talk therapy” about twice a month but formally requested to receive hormone therapy.
The department’s policy is to only provide hormone treatment to inmates who received such treatments before their incarceration.
Loveday is housed at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. Department of Correction records show that Loveday is serving sentences for 2008 convictions of methamphetamine possession, unlawful firearm possession by a serious felon and child exploitation.
A Department of Correction spokesman referred questions about the lawsuit to the state attorney general’s office, which didn’t have immediate comment.
The federal government has addressed multiple high profile cases regarding transgender inmates seeking hormone or gender reassignment surgery, including Chelsea Manning’s case in 2015. Manning was convicting of leaking national security secrets and was allowed to receive hormone therapy to transition to a woman while in prison.