February 19, 2020
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Pennsylvania judge rejects parents’ move to stop gender change surgery

PITTSBURGH — A Pennsylvania judge on Wednesday rejected an effort by the parents of a 48-year-old transgender woman to block her gender reassignment surgery after they said she is incompetent.

Christine Kitzler’s surgery had been scheduled to take place in New Hope, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, but on Monday her parents filed an emergency petition in a Bucks County courthouse in suburban Philadelphia to stop the surgery.

Bucks County Judge C. Theodore Fritsch Jr. initially granted a temporary stay. Kitzler, who lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was in a pre-operative appointment when she received news the surgery was halted, said her attorney, Angela Giampolo.

Parents Klaus and Ingrid Kitzler said their adult child was incompetent, demanded a guardian be appointed and sought to enjoin doctors from operating on her, Giampolo said.

The real issue was the particular nature of the surgery, rather than competency, according to Giampolo.

But on Wednesday the judge threw out the petition, rejecting their arguments about incompetence, Giampolo said.

The surgery will take place soon, Giampolo said.

Kitzler’s father in court referred to Christine as “my son” and “he,” said Giampolo, who noted she raised legal objections to the language in court.

“She had been called ‘that person over there,’ ‘him’ or ‘my son’ by her parents repeatedly,” Giampolo said.

The parents’ attorney, Julia Morrow, could not be reached for comment.

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