RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A transgender state employee is challenging a provision in the South Dakota employee health plan that excludes coverage of drugs or services for gender transformations.

The Argus Leader reports that Terri Bruce, a transgender man, argues the health plan violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause.

Bruce says in the complaint that he's been blocked from having medically necessary chest reconstruction surgery prescribed by his physician to treat gender dysphoria because of the plan's "discriminatory" exclusion.

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Bruce, who works at the South Dakota State Historical Society Archaeological Research Center, filed the federal lawsuit last week against the state and Bureau of Human Resources Commissioner Laurie Gill.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard's chief of staff, Tony Venhuizen, declined to comment to the newspaper.

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