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S.F. Official to Seek Coverage of Workers' Sex-Change Operations

September 26, 1996| Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco, the city that has made nonconformity practically a civic virtue, is considering broadening municipal employees' insurance to cover sex-change operations.

At the request of the transgender community, believed to number about 6,000, Supervisor Tom Ammiano plans to introduce a resolution to cover sex-change surgery.

Ammiano, one of the board's three openly gay and lesbian members, also sponsored an emergency resolution in August that would have permitted AIDS patients and other terminally ill people to buy and smoke marijuana legally to enhance their appetites and blunt the pain of their illnesses.

Larry Brinkin, the coordinator of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and HIV Discrimination Unit of the city's Human Rights Commission, thinks the resolution has a good chance of passing, but concedes it will be a tough fight.

"I think there's a good chance," he said. "We'll definitely have to give them a good understanding of what this is about, though."

The chairman of the San Francisco Republican Party, on the other hand, thinks the idea is a loser. Arthur Bruzzone and others say sex-change operations are a lifestyle choice and not medically necessary.

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