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Pennsylvania

Judge OKs gender surgery for 48-year-old called mentally incompetent by parents

| Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, 12:01 a.m.

DOYLESTOWN — A judge on Wednesday cleared the way for a 48-year-old transgender woman to undergo gender-reassignment surgery, rejecting her parents' effort to have the operation blocked because they say she is mentally incompetent.

Christine Kitzler demonstrated clear understanding of the three-hour procedure and its risks, Judge C. Theodore Fritsch Jr. said, dismissing her parents' request that he appoint a legal guardian and subject her to an independent medical exam.

“I'm so happy,” Kitzler whispered as the judge ruled.

“The procedure is barbaric, and they want to do it tonight. Why the rush? They should be ashamed of themselves,” her father, Klaus Kitzler, said after the ruling.

Christine Kitzler said having her body match the gender that she has identified with since growing up outside Cleveland would save her from backsliding into alcohol and drug addiction. Her parents argued that a childhood learning disorder and depression had compromised her judgment.

Their lawyer, Julia Morrow, suggested Kitzler was easily overborne and submitted to her surgeon's wishes — as she had when she allowed drug dealers to grow marijuana in her home during college and drifters to crash a mobile home where she lived.

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