Ohio’s state legislature has overridden Governor Mike DeWine‘s veto to pass legislation banning transgender medical procedures for minors and placing restrictions on transgender athletes.
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The Republican-dominated Ohio Senate voted 24-8 to override the governor’s veto, following a similar vote of 65-28 in the state House earlier this month. The legislation, known as House Bill 68, is set to take effect in 90 days.
The law prohibits doctors from prescribing puberty blockers, hormone therapy, or performing gender transition surgery on minors, defined as individuals under 18 years old.
Mental health providers are now required to obtain permission from at least one parent before diagnosing and treating a gender-related condition in a child. Medical professionals who violate the law may face disciplinary action from their licensing board.
An aspect of the legislation is a grandfather clause allowing those already undergoing gender transition to continue the process if stopping it would cause harm, as determined by doctors.
Opponents argue that this legislation disregards the rights of transgender individuals and their families and may face legal challenges similar to those seen in other states.
Governor Mike DeWine, a Republican, had vetoed the bill in December, stating that decisions regarding transgender medical procedures for minors should be made by families and medical providers rather than the state.
The Ohio Senate and House, both controlled by Republican supermajorities, decided to override the governor’s veto, addressing the need to protect children.
Governor DeWine’s attempt at compromise involved issuing an executive order that banned gender-transition surgeries for minors at certain facilities, despite medical professionals stating that such operations are not in the state.
Ohio joins more than 20 other Republican-led states that have enacted laws restricting or banning transgender medical treatments for children.
This legislative sparks national debate on transgender rights, with states introducing various bills related to gender-affirming care and transgender athlete participation.
The legislation in Ohio with the Republican stance that addresses parental rights about the long-term impacts of gender-affirming care on minors.
Some argue that such legislation is anti-science and infringes upon the rights of transgender individuals to access necessary medical care.
During the legislative process, Republican State Senator Kristina Roegner argued that attempting to change someone’s sex is a fool’s errand, while Democratic State Senator William DeMora labeled the bill as anti-science and hateful.
Democratic Representative Shontel Brown rebuked the legislature’s decision, describing it as a “cold, callous, and calculated attack on children, parents, and families.”
Brown addressed the need for elected officials to prioritize personal dignity over political considerations and called for federal legislation to protect LGBTQ+ rights.
Opponents of the legislation in Ohio, much like those in Arkansas, where a similar law was struck down by a federal judge, are considering legal challenges.
The legal aspect regarding these bans on transgender medical procedures for minors has been mixed, with lower courts often blocking such laws, while appeals courts have upheld them.
Issues surrounding transgender athletes’ participation in school sports have become an aspect of this legislative trend, with varying perspectives on fairness and inclusion.
Families with transgender children now face difficult decisions, with some considering relocating to states with more inclusive policies.
Advocacy groups like TransOhio have been assisting families in crisis, providing emergency funding and relocation assistance for those considering leaving the state.