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HomeGeneralOhio Governor Vetoes Bill Banning Transgender Care, Sports Participation

Ohio Governor Vetoes Bill Banning Transgender Care, Sports Participation

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A picture of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and his Lieutenent governor
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The bill passed earlier in December faced opposition for its potential impact on LGBTQ+ rights. Governor DeWine’s veto was seen as a decision against endorsing these restrictive measures.

The bill, passed by the Republican-dominated state legislature, aims to ban gender reassignment surgery and puberty-blocking drugs for transgender youth. Physicians would be prohibited from providing these medical interventions to assist minors with gender transition.

It also would prohibit school districts, public universities, and private colleges that participate in national athletics conferences from allowing trans women to participate in women’s sports.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, a Republican, announced his veto during a news conference on Friday morning. He explained that he had visited several children’s hospitals, engaging with parents and transgender children, to inform his decision.

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ALSO READ: Ohio Reproductive Rights Group Urges Prosecutors to Drop Charge Against Woman Who Miscarried

DeWine conveyed to reporters, “Parents have looked me in the eye and have told me that, but for this treatment, their child would be dead.” He emphasized, “Ultimately, I think this is about protecting human life.”

Republicans maintain a supermajority in the state legislature, granting them the potential to override the governor’s veto. The contentious issue of gender-affirming care for transgender youth has taken center stage in the Republican Party’s agenda.

Lawmakers in the majority of U.S. states have introduced bills to limit children from receiving gender-affirming care in recent years, resulting in 22 states passing such bans.

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Courts have faced divisions in legal challenges to these bans. While most lower-level courts have blocked the bans, appeals courts have tended to side with states. In a recent development, three Tennessee families of transgender children have sought the U.S. Supreme Court’s intervention, asking it to hear their case against the state’s ban.

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In recent news, a transgender woman in Ohio running for a House seat was disqualified because she did not disclose her pre-transition name on petitions circulated to voters.

Vanessa Joy, a prospective Democratic candidate for House District 50 in Stark County, disclosed on Wednesday that she was disqualified for not revealing her given name or deadname on petitions.

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This disqualification occurred despite her successful collection of all the required signatures to run for office. The failure to disclose her pre-transition name led to the disqualification.

Joy emphasized that while the law aims to identify wrongdoers, it poses a hurdle for transgender individuals running for office. Some may be hesitant to disclose their deadname due to valid concerns, such as personal safety.

ALSO READ: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Subpoenaed in Lawsuit Over Bribery

“If I had known that I had to put my deadname on my petitions, I personally would have because being elected was important to me,” Joy said. “But for many it would be a barrier to entry because they would not want their names on the petitions.” She continued, “It’s a danger, and that name is dead.”

The Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office and the Stark County Board of Elections did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment Thursday. It is not clear if this law has applied to any current or previous state lawmakers.

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