Houston County LGBTQ+ community frustrated with county’s $1.25 million defense of transgender treatment lawsuit
Members of the Houston County LGBTQ+ community expressed frustration during Thursday's Board of Commissioners meeting regarding a pending lawsuit filed by Houston County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Anna Lange.
WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Members of the Houston County LGBTQ+ community expressed frustration during Thursday’s Board of Commissioners meeting regarding a pending lawsuit filed by Houston County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Anna Lange.
Lange has been with the Houston County Sheriff’s Office for almost two decades and sued the county in 2019 after it refused to cover transgender-related treatment. According to Julian Santos, founder of Houston County’s LGBTQ+ network, the county has spent more than $1.25 million fighting the lawsuit, while the cost of the life-affirming surgery is $25,000, according to Lange’s lawyer.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Amanda Schuber, a Houston County LGBTQ+ Network member, expressed her concern that the money spent on the case should go to other county needs.
“This war being waged against one person is not the best use of my money and sends a dangerous message to our community and especially to our youth who are hearing that you do not value transgender lives,” she said. “This treatment is life-affirming care, and your opinions and feelings on the necessity of this care is not relevant.”
Jacqueline Rozier, another community member, disagreed, stating that more money should be spent fighting the case.
“That individual made a choice to decide to change the gender,” she said. “They make the choice, then they pay the cost.”
Santos said even with silence from commissioners, it is in the best interest to help someone who has served the community for so long.
“It should be in everyone’s best interest to do whatever she needs, and to act in her best interest,” he said.
Lange, who was not present at the meeting, issued a statement calling on the county to “stop discriminating and stop wasting taxpayer money defending their losing case.”
“I wasn’t one of the organizers and I didn’t attend the meeting. So that makes it even more moving for me, that people who I don’t even know would come out and support me and take a stand against discrimination,” Lange said in the statement. “I’m very grateful for the support. Once again, I’m calling on the county to do the right thing, stop discriminating, and stop wasting taxpayer money defending their losing case.”
The Houston County Board of Commissioners declined to comment due to the pending litigation, according to County Attorney Tom Hall.