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A gay and transgender-rights advocate group has signed on to assist in the case of Michelle Kosilek as the convicted killer’s fight for a medically recommended sex-change operation prepares to make an unusual appearance before a full federal appeals court in Boston.

Jennifer Levi, director of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders’ Transgender Rights Project, petitioned to be involved in the case to assist Kosilek’s attorney Joseph L. Sulman as he and his client prepare to go before the all nine judges of the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit — the final appellate stage before the US Supreme Court, the nation’s highest.

A hearing is scheduled May 8.

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