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August 22, 2013 in Blog Stream by develop101

(CNN) — ”I am Chelsea Manning.”
With those words, read from a statement on NBC’s ”Today” on Thursday, Bradley Manning immediately shifted public conversation away from the Army private’s conviction on espionage charges to gender identity.
”As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me,” Manning said in the statement. ”I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition.”
While his supporters may back Manning, the Army said Thursday it won’t.
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”The Army does not provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery,” Lt. Col. Justin Platt told CNN on Thursday.
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One Army official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about Manning’s case, said the private remains a male in the eyes of the Army. Another said Manning would be treated like any other prisoner.
”A lot of the inmates have issues they’re dealing with,” said the second official, who also was not authorized to speak publicly about Manning’s case. ”Even if you have gender identity disorder, you still serve your sentence.”
The Human Rights Campaign said Thursday that the military should grant Manning’s wishes.
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”The care she receives should be something that she and her doctors — including professionals who understand transgender care — agree is best for her,” the campaign said, using the pronoun Manning asked to be identified by. ”There is a clear legal consensus that it is the government’s responsibility to provide medically necessary care for transgender people and the military has an obligation to follow those guidelines.”
Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, told ”Today” that he’ll take action if the Army doesn’t provide Manning with the hormone therapy that he has requested of the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
”I’m hoping Fort Leavenworth would do the right thing and provide that,” Coombs said. ”If Fort Leavenworth does not, then I am going to do everything in my power to make sure that they are forced to do so.”
Manning was sentenced Wednesday to 35 years in prison for leaking 750,000 pages of classified documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. A military

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