Elton John, Stipe call for protection of transgender inmates

NEW YORK (AP) — Elton John and Michael Stipe are calling for the equal rights of transgender inmates.

John and Stipe released a statement Tuesday following the claims that a transgender woman was mistreated at a Georgia prison. They wrote that “transgender women in male prisons have an equal right to protection from violence and abuse in prison, and yet they continue to face horrific injustices.”

Last week the Justice Department said prison officials must treat an inmate’s gender identity condition just as they would treat any other medical or mental health condition. That announcement followed a February lawsuit from the Southern Poverty Law Center filed against Georgia Department of Corrections officials on behalf of Ashley Diamond, a transgender woman.

According to the lawsuit, prison officials did not provide sufficient treatment for 36-year-old Diamond’s gender dysphoria.