Ohio lawmakers overrule Governor’s veto, bans transgender procedures for minors

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By Carina

In a significant legislative move, the Ohio Senate voted to override Republican Governor Mike DeWine’s veto of a controversial bill targeting gender transition procedures for minors and the participation of male athletes in female sports teams. 

The Senate’s decision followed the House’s earlier vote to override, marking a clear stance by the Republican-majority legislature.

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Ohio’s SAFE Act bans gender-altering treatments for minors 

Known as the Saving Ohio Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, the bill prohibits medical professionals from performing gender-altering surgeries and prescribing puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones to minors. 

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Additionally, it bars male athletes from competing in female sports teams at high school and college levels. 

This measure reflects a growing trend in the U.S. regarding the debate over fairness in women’s sports. The law is scheduled to become effective in 90 days.

Advocates and opponents voice their stances

Proponents of the bill emphasize the irreversible nature of gender transition procedures on minors, advocating for mental health care and therapy as alternatives. 

This move aligns Ohio with states like North Carolina and Louisiana, which have enacted similar legislation despite gubernatorial vetoes. 

Republican State Rep. Gary Click, the bill’s primary sponsor, highlighted the legislative intent, stating, “The citizens of Ohio were unequivocal in their demand that the legislature act, and we did.”

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LGBT rights groups and legal advocates react

Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT rights group, has labeled the legislation as “draconian and discriminatory,” arguing it denies young people access to necessary medical care. 

On the other hand, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) supports the ban, with Senior Counsel Matt Sharp commending the Ohio Senate’s action for prioritizing children’s well-being over “politicized and harmful practice.”

Treatment approaches to gender dysphoria and legislative implications

The bill addresses the contentious issue of gender dysphoria treatment in minors, which currently includes puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries. 

Mr. Sharp criticized these treatments, deeming them dangerous and stating, “No one has the right to harm children and, thankfully, states have the power—and duty—to protect them.” 

Ohio joins a growing list of states and some European countries in restricting these medical interventions.

Governor DeWine’s stance amid legislative decisions

Governor DeWine, despite his veto, maintains that parents should have the prerogative to make medical decisions for their children. 

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His earlier executive order, perceived as a ban on gender transition procedures for both minors and adults, has drawn criticism.

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