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SACRAMENTO, California, November 6, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – California has become the first state to not only pay for prisoners' transgender operations and treatments, but also move men and women into prisons of the opposite gender.

Effective October 20, taxpayers are on the hook for prisoners who claim to have gender dysphoria. The change to state law took place after a years-long lawsuit from convicted first-degree murderer Rodney James Quine.

Quine, who was also convicted of kidnapping and robbery, is serving a life sentence for his crimes. He now wants to be considered female, and he sued to have the approximately $25,000 surgery to attempt to become female paid for by taxpayers. He won his case in August.

The guidelines for treatment include a committee that must consider other options before recommending surgery. Additionally, the “Sex Reassignment Surgery Review Committee” – which constituted two medical doctors, two mental health doctors, and two psychologists – must conclude that the “patient is in significant distress due to gender dysphoria” and that “the patient has continuously manifested a desire to live and to be accepted as a member of the preferred sex, including the desire to make his/her body as congruent as possible with the preferred sex, for at least two (2) years; [and] has lived full-time in his/her desired gender role for at least 12 months[.]”

Inmates who want the surgeries must have at least two more years before their expected date of parole or release.

The guidelines were described as “pretty conservative criteria” by an expert cited in The New York Times.

One analysis of California's prison records found that there are 363 men who say they are women in California's prisons, and 22 women who say they are men. The Public Policy Institute of California estimated in March 2015 that there are 112,300 people in the state's prisons.