Ohio House Overrides Governor
On Wednesday, the Ohio state House made a controversial move by voting to override Governor Mike DeWine’s veto of a bill that aims to ban gender procedures for minors and prevent boys who identify as girls from competing in girls’ sports.
With a 65-28 vote in favor of the override, Ohio House Republicans showed their support for the bill, and it will now move on to the state Senate for further consideration. This decision has received widespread attention and has sparked heated debates among lawmakers and citizens alike.
The bill, known as House Bill 68, is made up of two acts: the “Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act” and the “Save Women’s Sports Act.” The former would prohibit transgender procedures on minors, such as double mastectomies for girls who identify as boys, while the latter would prevent biological boys from competing in girls’ sports. This bill was originally passed by the Republican-controlled Ohio General Assembly on December 13, with a majority vote in both the House and Senate.
However, in a surprising move, DeWine vetoed the bill last Friday, citing concerns about the legal consequences of such a measure. In a press conference, the governor explained, “I truly believe that we can address a number of goals in House Bill 68 by administrative rules that will have likely a better chance of surviving judicial review and being adopted.” He also defended his decision by emphasizing his commitment to protecting human life, as well as acknowledging the personal experiences of individuals who have benefited from gender procedures.
Despite DeWine’s veto, the House chose to move forward with the bill, with many Democrats showing their support for the LGBTQ community by wearing dark-colored clothing and rainbow accessories during the vote. According to Fox 19, the state Senate is likely to vote on the matter on January 24, and it will take a three-fifths majority in both chambers to override the governor’s veto and turn the bill into law.
Following the House’s vote, conservative leaders praised the decision, including Ohio Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Frank LaRose. In a post on Twitter, LaRose stated, “We cannot, in good conscience, allow children to be subjected to irreversible medical procedures. And it is not safe or fair to allow boys to play girls’ sports. A majority of Ohioans agree with these common sense principles.” Similarly, Logan Church, the political director of CatholicVote, expressed his joy in a statement and urged the state Senate to take action in line with the House’s decision.
It is important to note that DeWine did take a stand against transgender surgeries on minors by signing a limited executive order on the same day he issued the veto. In the order, he stated, “Although I vetoed… House Bill 68, I stated clearly in my veto message that I agreed with the General Assembly that no gender-transition surgeries should be performed on anyone under the age of 18, and I directed agencies under my purview to draft rules to ban this practice in Ohio.” This move by the governor has been commended by some and criticized by others.
The debate surrounding this issue is not new and has been ongoing for some time now. With states across the country passing similar bills and executive orders, the issue of transgender rights and protections for minors has become a highly contentious topic.
While some argue that these measures are necessary to protect children and preserve the integrity of women’s sports, others believe that they violate the rights of transgender individuals and limit their access to healthcare and opportunities.
As the bill now moves to the state Senate, all eyes will once again be on Ohio as lawmakers determine the fate of House Bill 68. It remains to be seen whether the governor’s veto will be successfully overridden and whether transgender minors will continue to have access to gender procedures and compete alongside their preferred gender in sports. Meanwhile, the debate surrounding this issue will likely continue as activists on both sides make their voices heard.