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OHIO LEGISLATURE REJECTS CONSTITUENTS, FAMILIES, SCIENCE AND MEDICAL EXPERTS TO OVERRIDE VETO OF HB 68, ENACTING BAN ON ESSENTIAL HEALTH CARE AND SCHOOL SPORTS FOR TRANS YOUTH
- Last updated: January 24, 2024
(New York, NY, January 24, 2024) — GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, is responding to news that the Ohio Senate voted to override the veto of Republican Governor Mike DeWine of HB 68, a combination bill that bans essential health care for transgender youth and prohibits transgender girls and women from school sports in grades K-12.
Gov. Mike DeWine had vetoed the bill last month after meeting with transgender people, parents of transgender youth, and their health care providers. DeWine said parents told him “their child would be dead today if not for the care they received from Ohio’s children’s hospitals.”
According to Equality Ohio, 585 people submitted testimony opposing HB 68 since it was introduced, compared to only approximately 40 supporters of the bill, many of whom were not from Ohio.
The Ohio House voted to override DeWine’s veto earlier this month. Implementation of HB 68 will go into effect after a 90-day period, on April 23.
GLAAD’s CEO and President, Sarah Kate Ellis (she/her), issued the following statement:
“Ohio’s extremist lawmakers inexplicably refused facts, expert testimony, and deeply personal pleas from families who understand how this bill will bring pain and harm. No one should be treated like an outcast in their own state or be forced to leave to receive health care they count on. The bill is inaccurate from start to finish, even in the name, as it does nothing to keep children safe and interferes in parents’ rights to support their children. Ohio deserves leaders who protect all citizens, who believe in facts and science, and a future where everyone can be safe and belong in their home state.”
GLAAD, equality groups and health advocates in Ohio shared messages with lawmakers, staff, voters and reporters via a mobile billboard today outside the statehouse in Columbus [photos below]. Facts included that every major medical association supports health care for transgender people (30+ statements here), and that Republican governors and appeals courts have both rejected bills targeting transgender people as unconstitutional, unsafe, and government overreach. As patients and families will soon be forced to travel to find safe and affirming care, TransOhio has set up an emergency resource fund, here.
GLAAD and Equality Ohio, which advocates and educates to achieve fair treatment and equal opportunity for all Ohioans regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, previously issued a fact sheet for reporters on the bill: https://glaad.org/releases/glaad-equality-ohio-
Equality Ohio’s statement on today’s news can be found here: https://equalityohio.
Last week, GLAAD submitted public comment to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services considering a proposed rule that would further restrict protections for transgender Ohioans. GLAAD wrote in part: “Decisions about lifesaving medical care should be left to Ohio families, their trusted providers, and their loved ones — not the government. Transgender people are experts in their own lives and health; and experts in the field of transgender health opposed the proposed restrictions. These proposed regulations would take complex, private, individualized decisions out of the hands of medical professionals and into the hands of politicians with no expertise in health care, let alone the nuances of care for transgender Ohioans. Enforcing this rule would contribute to a de facto ban that would make it impossible for medical providers and families to choose what is best for them.”
The Ohio Department of Health will consider an additional rule to enforce additional restrictions on health care for transgender residents, with a public comment period that ends February 5. Ohioans and allies can read details of the rule and submit their own public comment at this link: https://linktr.ee/
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
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