Ohio Lawmakers Ban Gender-affirming Care, Surgeries For Minors, Overriding Veto

The Ohio House of Representatives Chamber is seen as lawmakers are expected to vote on whether to override the governor's veto of a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for minors, one of the dozens of bills introduced this year to restrict transgender rights, at the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, U.S. January 10, 2024. REUTERS/Megan Jelinger

Lawmakers in Ohio voted on Wednesday to override Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of a bill that bans cosmetic sex-change surgeries and the prescription of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for minors, allowing the proposed legislation to become law.

The Ohio Senate voted 24-8 on Wednesday to override the veto of House Bill 68, which also prohibits biological males who identify as female from taking part in girls’ sports, affirming an earlier veto override from the Ohio House.

The Ohio-based conservative Christian activist group Center for Christian Virtue celebrated the override. 

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“No child is born in the wrong body, no matter what powerful and well-funded lobbyists say. Today, Ohio has told an exploitative medical industry that we reject your junk science and will no longer allow you to experiment on our children,” CCV President Aaron Baer said in a statement.

“We’ve also guaranteed that every young woman in this state will have a free and fair playing field and will not be forced to compete against boys. This marks a turning point in Ohio: we will not remain silent when are children are being harmed,” The Christian Post reports.

Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine, in December, vetoed HB 68, saying the proposed legislation would prevent parents from making medical decisions for their trans-identified children, as he claimed he had heard from parents of transgender youth who told him gender-affirming care had been lifesaving for their children.

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But Ohio’s Senate on Wednesday joined the House of Representatives to override the governor’s veto.

“The Ohio Senate deserves to be commended today for its commitment to protecting women and children,” Republican state Representative and bill sponsor Gary Click said in a statement, adding that the legislation addresses “the civil rights issues of our day.”

The new law, due to take effect in 90 days, will block physicians from performing gender reassignment surgery or prescribing puberty-blocking drugs to assist a minor with gender transition, according to Reuters.

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