The Ohio Senate voted Wednesday to override Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of a bill that would have banned transition medical care for transgender minors and restricted transgender athletes from playing on school sports teams.
After the Senate’s 23-9 sound, the bill will become law within 90 days. Ohio House already voted 65-28across party lines, overriding DeWine’s veto earlier this month.
Healthcare providers who violate the law may face disciplinary action by the licensing board. The law also allows students in K-12 schools and colleges who believe they have been denied an athletic opportunity because of the participation of a transgender student to sue their school, school district, interscholastic institution or other related organization.
Dara Adkison, board secretary for TransOhio, a transgender advocacy group, said some trans people and their families were “in crisis” before the vote. The group offers emergency financial and relocation assistance for families with trans children who want to leave the state. Adkison, who used pronouns for them, said in a phone call Tuesday that in the days leading up to the vote, they had spoken with 68 families and seven trans adults who requested emergency relocation funds and planned to leave the state because of the law and order. political climate.
“Their government is forcing them to uproot their lives,” Adkison said. “They sell their homes, change jobs and careers, and close all their savings. They close their businesses, leave their medical practices. The intense personal and societal trauma that these families who love their children are experiencing right now, given by the government, is brutal.”
State Sen. Christina Roegner, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said before Wednesday’s vote that it is impossible for someone to change their gender and “there is no such thing as a gender spectrum.”
“There is no such thing as gender-affirming care,” Roegner added. “You can’t validate something that doesn’t exist.”
Roegner said that treating gender dysphoria, or the distress caused by a mismatch between gender and gender identity assigned at birth, “creates a constant patient population, as you can imagine.”
“It’s quite a profit center for hospitals that perform these procedures on teenagers, on children,” Roegner said. “They are not capable of making life-changing decisions.”
Protesters interrupted Roegner’s speech at one point, and the Senate temporarily cut off the live stream.
Major medical associations, including American Medical Associationthe American Academy of Pediatrics and American Psychological Association — supporting minors’ access to gender-affirming care and opposing state bans.
Ohio law provides an exception for minors in care who already confirmed their gender prior to the measure’s effective date. However, all minors and trans adults may face more barriers to such care because of a series of administrative rules DeWine announced after vetoing the bill last month. These guidelines require that trans patients under the age of 21 receive at least six months of treatment before receiving puberty blockers, hormone therapy, or surgery. They also require that a multidisciplinary team of doctors, such as endocrinologists and psychiatrists, be involved in a trans patient’s treatment plan, among other requirements.
When DeWine unveiled the rules this month, he said he was concerned about substandard clinics in the state. providing trans adults with hormone therapy “without the lead psychiatric care that we know is so abundant and so important.”
But Adkison said Tuesday that no such clinics exist and that the rules are “bad and unnecessary bureaucracy.”
“No one cares about a gender-affirming pop-up,” Adkison said. “We have months and years of waiting lists for gender-affirming care in this state, and the concept that anyone can get it at their pocketbook 24/7 is beyond preposterous. It insults the bureaucratic mess that those seeking gender-affirming care must wade through.”
The Ohio Department of Health is accepting public comments on the rules until Feb. 5, and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services until Jan. 26. If the regulations come into force after that period, Ohio will become the second state Limiting gender-affirming care for trans adults after Florida passed a law requiring trans adults in May consent to such care in person and in the presence of a physician.
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