Ohio governor vetoes gender-affirming care and sports ban for trans youth

Columbus, Ohio - Ohio's Republican Governor Mike DeWine broke from members of his own party to veto a ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has vetoed a ban on gender-affirming care and sports participation for trans youth after powerful testimonies from LGBTQ+ rights advocates.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has vetoed a ban on gender-affirming care and sports participation for trans youth after powerful testimonies from LGBTQ+ rights advocates.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

DeWine on Friday vetoed the measure, which passed out of the state legislature with only-GOP support earlier this month, after powerful testimonies by transgender youth, health care providers, and LGBTQ+ rights advocates.

House Bill 68 aims to prohibit gender-affirming care – including hormone therapies, puberty blockers, and surgeries – for minors, while allowing those already pursuing such treatments to continue.

The legislation also bars transgender female athletes' participation in K-12 and university sports teams corresponding with their gender identity.

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"I cannot sign this bill as it is currently written. Just a few minutes ago, I vetoed this bill," DeWine said as he announced his decision.

"Parents have looked me in the eye and told me that but for this treatment, their child would be dead," the governor explained. "And youth who are transgender have told me they are thriving today because of their transition."

"Were Ohio to pass HB68, Ohio would be saying that the state knows what is better, what is medically best for the child, than the two people who love that child the most: the parents."

There are enough Republican lawmakers in the Ohio state legislature to override DeWine's veto, although it is not yet clear if they will attempt to do so.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

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