March 9, 2001
volume 12, no. 68

The City by the Bay is again attacking traditional values.

By Dave Clark , correspondent for Focus on the Family

    SAN FRANCISCO, March 8 - (Focus on the Family from - The city of San Francisco stands poised to offer sex-change benefits to its employees. The controversial health plan, which would become the first of its kind in the nation, would be a boon to Marcus Arana.

    "It's absolutely necessary for a positive outcome for the treatment of transsexuality," Arana said.

    Arana is a San Francisco city employee who went public with his or rather her plight. Arana said he was born a male in a female body.

    Larry Brinken, of the city's Human Rights Commission, is among those pushing for expanded health benefits that would cover sex-change operations up to $50,000.

    "Treatments and surgeries to bring someone's body in line with their gender identity are absolutely medically necessary. And that's what we absolutely believe," Brinkin said.

    For Randy Thomasson, with the conservative Campaign for California Families, the idea is more than just a dopey one.

    "The city that's against the Boy Scouts and is trying to undermine marriage between a man and a woman is now forcing taxpayers to pay for sex changes," Thomasson said.

    Peter LaBarbera, of Americans for Truth, would go even further: "I personally believe these operations, themselves, should be illegal. If (people) knew what transsexual operations actually involved, they would be actually horrified," LaBarbera said.

    Nonetheless, determined transsexuals are likely to apply for city jobs just to get the benefit. Brinkin is sure that city supervisors will approve the plan.

    "There's no doubt that we have a majority," Brinkin said.

    And that, said LaBarbera, is the point: "They've just flipped morality on its head. It's like Isaiah 5:20 evil is good and good is evil."

    Brinkin said he'd like to see San Francisco sex-change benefits become a model for the rest of the country.

March 9, 2001
volume 12, no. 68
USA News
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