Army to Bradley Manning: No, we won’t pay for your sex change procedures
WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Armed Forces will not be paying for Bradley Manning to alter his body to match his new, female persona, according to a Pentagon spokesman.
“The Army does not provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery for gender identity disorder,” Army spokesman George Wright said in a statement to Courthouse News Service. He said the military still considers Manning a soldier and will provide him with appropriate mental health care if he wants it.
Bradley Manning now wishes to be called “Chelsea” and referred to by feminine pronouns.
Wright did not tell the paper whether Manning would be permitted to undergo a sex-change if he pays for it himself.
But Manning’s defense lawyer, David Coombs, told the Today Show that if military officials do not offer to arrange for the hormone therapy and surgery his client wants, he’ll bring legal action against them.
“If Fort Leavenworth does not [provide Manning with a sex change] then I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure they are forced to do so,” Coombs said.
On Wednesday, the 25-year-old, 5’2” Manning was sentenced to 35 years in Fort Leavenworth military prison for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks. On Thursday, he announced via a statement read aloud on the Today Show that he intends to live the rest of his life as a woman named “Chelsea Manning,” and wants the government to facilitate the transformation.
“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me,” Manning wrote. “I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible.” He also requested that government officials and media outlets use feminine pronouns and descriptors when referring to him, along with his desired new name. Some news outlets, including the Associated Press, have already begun to comply.