The Republican-controlled Ohio Senate on Wednesday voted to override Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of a bill outlawing gender-changing services for minors and banning transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports.
The override passed in a 23-9 vote after the Ohio House had earlier this month voted in favor of rescinding the Republican governor’s veto.
Ohio’s House Bill 68 prohibits doctors from prescribing hormones and puberty blockers for minors and from performing gender reassignment surgeries on people under 18.
The legislation also bars transgender females from playing on high school and college sports teams consistent with their gender identity.
Last December, DeWine vetoed the comprehensive bill after it passed the state legislature by wide margins, opting instead to issue an executive order that simply bans gender-reassignment surgery on minors.
“I think parents should make those decisions and not the government,” DeWine, 76, said ahead of Wednesday’s vote, according to the Ohio Capital Journal.
He previously warned that “the consequences of this bill could not be more profound” when he vetoed the measure.
“Ultimately, I believe this is about protecting human life,” DeWine said. “Many parents have told me that their child would not have survived, would be dead today if they had not received the treatment they received from one of Ohio’s children’s hospitals. I’ve also been told by those who are now grown adults that but for this care, they would have taken their life when they were teenagers.”
Republican state Sen. Kristina Roegner, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, argued that “gender-affirming care” has become a “profit center” for hospitals seeking to turn minors into “permanent patients.”
“There are men and there are women and there are boys and there are girls and they are different,” Roegner said on the Senate floor. “Gender is not fluid. There is no such thing as a gender spectrum.”
“This is quite a profit center for those hospitals pushing these procedures to teenagers, children,” she added. “They’re not capable of making life-altering decisions.”
Democratic state Sen. Bill DeMora argued that the lives of transgender youth will be “destroyed” as a result of the Senate’s veto override.
“Instead of passing one of dozens of bipartisan, no-nonsense bills that actually help Ohioans, the Senate decided to target trans youth by overriding HB 68,” he said in a tweet. “Lives were destroyed today. The Senate was given a rare opportunity to reflect after passing a bad bill and it was wasted.”
A grandfather clause in HB 68 will allow physicians already treating transgender patients to continue
The law will take effect in the spring.