(The Center Square) – The decision to create single-sex athletic teams and ban gender-affirming care for minors in Ohio sits in the hands of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine.
DeWine has 10 business days to either sign House Bill 68 or veto it. He has not given any indication of his intentions. He has said in the past the issue of transgender participation in sports should not be a government decision.
The legislation passed the Senate 24-8 on Wednesday. Later that night, the House concurred 61-27 with the Senate’s amendments. One Senate Republican voted against the bill, and two GOP House representatives voted no.
The bill requires K-12 schools, state colleges and universities and private colleges and universities to have separate single-sex teams for each sex. It also creates legal remedies for violations.
It would also prohibit gender-affirming care, such as hormone blockers, hormone replacement therapy and surgery for transgender youth.
Sponsor Rep. Gary Click, R-Vickery, says the bill saves youth from harmful procedures.
“Our opponents argue from a place of eminence rather than evidence,” Click said. “In other words, it’s ‘because we said so,’ rather than because it is so. That may work when it comes from mom or dad but that is not enough when it comes from the health care industry. Ohio’s families deserve better.”
Democrats called passage another attack on the LGBTQ+ community.
“The lives of children were used as political pawns by extremists more worried about their own political future rather than the future of innocent kids,” said House Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington. “All we did today was endanger the lives of trans children, normalize even more the hate the LGTBQ+ community continues to face, and turn our backs on evidence-based science. I’m simply disgusted by it all. It is a fundamental freedom that medical decisions are between youths, their families, and medical providers – not extremist politicians. I will be asking Gov. DeWine to veto this bill and that he prioritize the dignity and safety of all Ohioans.”