BERKELEY (KCBS/CBS 5/AP) – The Berkeley City Council has postponed a vote on a proposal to use taxpayer money to pay for sex-change operations for city employees, but it is still expected to be approved.

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

Council members on Tuesday decided to delay a final decision on the issue until Feb. 15, so that the language in the proposal could be fine-tuned.

“As a transgendered woman myself, I’m interested in removing the discriminatory distinctions against the medical treatment of transexuality, just in a civil rights point of view,” said finance employee Lynn Riordan, who is behind the proposal. “I’ve been working on this in the City of Berkeley, my employer, for the last couple of years.”

City funding would be minimal, just $20,000 to be replaced once the benefits are used. Gender-reassignment surgery can cost up to $50,000. The money would be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Councilman Darryl Moore said the delay will make the sex change policy more efficient and effective. “This sends a powerful message to people here in Berkeley and other municipalities, that this is an important issue,” said Leslie Ewing with the Pacific Center for the LGBT Community.

Berkeley health insurance providers Kaiser Permanente and Health Net don’t pay for the procedure under the city’s current health plans.

To be eligible for the fund, 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.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (12)
  1. Bene says:

    Same Liberal Fantasy’s spend money you do not have. Change names, definitions of words and historical facts to fit into your agenda, Lump in all under a Invented category of fairness defined under Liberal Terms. Common sense apparently is not common to all. If the Liberals and those who are fond of them would spend more time building the future, hard work, investment in enterprise business instead of trying to reinvent the past The liberals and the rest of us who have to live with them would be better off. The government and the tax generating small business sector then could afford to consider some of there fantasy’s. Maybe right people could make some sense of it and come up with a affordable compromise.

  2. Apriol Foy says:

    It is not fair for taxpayers to pay for gender change, if a male or female wants to change thier gender they should have to pay with thier own money. NOT TAXPAYERS!!!!!!

  3. Jason says:

    Those outraged by the minimal $20,000 set aside should be more concerned about the amount in taxes we are paying on the uninsured.

  4. a-0 says:

    Tax payers money hard at work! LMFAO!! Only in Berkeley.

  5. Taxpayer C says:

    Not with tax money!!! I know of someone who has had a sex change and they didn’t ask for money from anyone.

  6. Mark says:

    I’m just gonna put my 2 cents worth in here, forgive me if you do not like what i have to say. This is the most preposterous thing i have ever heard. There are no health risks, what the hell do you mean health risk? This is not only an abomination against our creator, it is an abomination against the the tax payers. You know.. the tax payers who cannot receive the health care they have earned and deserve, yet you wish to support this? Unbelievable, simply, unbelievable. Oh well, i suppose the rest of us will just accept it and move on, as if it were the moral thing to do. Decorum prohibits me from posting my exact thoughts. May those who support this abomination, reap exactly what they sow.

  7. Taxpayer, Parent, Citizen says:

    More Police Protection? More Fire Protection? or Free sex change??? What is this world coming too!

  8. Chief says:

    You go to be F in kidding me!

    What a joke. Let the tax paying citizens of Berkeley vote on this and I guarantee you it doesn’t pass.

  9. Merple Reddin (Miss) says:

    I thought we went to work to earn money for our private concerns and lifestyles.

  10. tmoneypsychomadman says:

    I’m all for progressive government…but this is taking it way too far. In these times where cities all over the nation are having to cut back on basic services like police, fire and schools, this seems kindof obscene. Just like many southern cities have taken the ideology of the religious right to the extreme, Berkeley has taken things too far in the opposite direction. I mean, how can a city talk about spending money on this when they are having to do things like this?

  11. Angel says:

    im not against gender reassignment surgery but i dont think its the tax payers responsibility to pay for this. If thats the case the government should reimburse me for my boob job! yeah they should worry about out public services that we need such as police,fire department etc,….

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