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Ohio’s House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to override the governor’s veto of a bill to ban gender-affirming care for children and barred trans athletes from competing in women’s sports.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine in Ohio vetoed the transgender bill in late December, defying party convention. 

In Ohio, medical professionals and parents had told Republican Governor Mike DeWine that gender transition was necessary and lifesaving for many adolescents and teens.

‘I believe that parents, not the government, should be making these very crucial medical decisions for their children,’ DeWine said at the time.

But the Ohio House overrode the governor’s veto with a vote of 65-28 on Wednesday. 

Ohio house override’s GOP Governor Mike DeWine’s refusal to ban trans women from competing in sports and transgender children from seeking medical care for their condition

Ohio’s House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to override the governor’s veto of a bill to ban gender-affirming care for children and barred trans athletes from competing in women’s sports. 

The state Senate, where the bill previously passed with more than the three-fifths majority needed to override, is due to vote on Jan. 24. If passed, the law would take effect 90 days later.

Groups like Independent Women’s Forum praised the veto, with ambassador and former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines cheering it on and encouraging Ohio voters to go further.

‘The battle to protect women and children is a marathon, not a sprint, so we celebrate the little victories. The veto override vote from Ohio State House is a victory. All eyes will be on the senate as they vote in the next few weeks,’ Gaines, who also hosts the Outkick podcast Gaines for Girls, said in a statement.

‘I recommend all Ohioans remember the names of those who voted ‘nay’ today. They’ve proven they’re willing to throw children and women under the bus to appear virtuous. Vote them out,’ she added.

May Mailman, the director of Independent Women’s Law Center, was the former Deputy Solicitor General for the State of Ohio, and resides in Cleveland.

‘More Ohio House members voted in favor of override than supported initial passage. That’s a powerful lesson. It means Ohioans made clear that they deserve to raise their children free from the dangerous gender ideology cult. I hope all of our elected representatives will listen,’ she said in a statement.

Transgender rights advocates initially praised DeWine. But last week he issued an executive order curtailing transgender healthcare that appeared to be an attempt to stave off a veto override, and has been criticized by transgender advocates as imposing more extreme restrictions than the bill contained.

The governor said at a Friday press conference when he expressed concern about  ‘fly-by-night’ clinics that might be profiting off transgender people without proper training or oversight.

Now, transgender Ohioans are facing the possibility of a restored legislative ban on gender-affirming healthcare.

That would be combined with additional restrictions in DeWine’s executive order, which requires that even adult transgender people must have a comprehensive treatment plan prescribed by both a psychiatrist and an endocrinologist that is then reviewed by a medical ethicist before receiving services. 

The executive order would not go into effect before a public comment period ends February 5.

‘The consequences of this bill could not be more profound. Ultimately, I believe this is about protecting human life,’ DeWine said during a news conference in late December. 

‘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,’ he added. 

DeWine in Ohio vetoed a bill Friday that would have banned gender-affirming care for children and barred trans athletes from competing in women's sports

DeWine in Ohio vetoed a bill Friday that would have banned gender-affirming care for children and barred trans athletes from competing in women’s sports

During legislative sessions, hundreds of opponents testified against Ohio's House Bill 68, to ban access to gender-affirming treatment and prevent transgender student-athletes from girls and women's sports

During legislative sessions, hundreds of opponents testified against Ohio’s House Bill 68, to ban access to gender-affirming treatment and prevent transgender student-athletes from girls and women’s sports 

After DeWine's Veto, the Ohio house voted to override with the Senate expected to have a similar vote later this month

After DeWine’s Veto, the Ohio house voted to override with the Senate expected to have a similar vote later this month 

During legislative sessions, hundreds of opponents testified against Ohio’s House Bill 68, to ban access to gender-affirming treatment and prevent transgender student-athletes from girls and women’s sports. 

Opponents include medical and mental health providers, education professionals, faith leaders, parents of transgender children and transgender people themselves.

They decried the legislation as cruel, life-threatening to transgender youth and based on fearmongering rather than science. 

DeWine´s veto departs from a nationwide trend toward passing such laws, as more than 20 states have enacted laws restricting or banning such treatments. 

Most of those states face lawsuits, but courts have issued mixed rulings.

The bill also requires public K-12 schools and universities to designate separate teams for male and female sexes, and banned transgender girls and women from participating in sports that align with their gender identity. 

DeWine´s veto departs from a nationwide trend toward passing such laws, as more than 20 states have enacted laws restricting or banning such treatments

DeWine´s veto departs from a nationwide trend toward passing such laws, as more than 20 states have enacted laws restricting or banning such treatments

The Human Rights Campaign says that 22 states so far have banned access to gender-affirming care

The Human Rights Campaign says that 22 states so far have banned access to gender-affirming care

Supporters argued that banning transgender athletes from girl’s and women’s sports maintains the integrity of those sports and ensures fairness.

‘I truly believe that we can collaborate, find common ground and adopt rules to protect Ohio children, adults and families in this area,’ DeWine said. 

‘Were I to sign House Bill 68, were House Bill 68 to become law, Ohio would be saying that the state, that the government, knows better what is medically best for a child than the two people who love that child the most: the parents,’ he added. 

Last week, the governor said he visited children’s hospitals in Akron, Cincinnati and Columbus in an interview with the Associated Press. 

‘I’m trying to learn as much as I can to make a good decision. We’re dealing with children who are going through a challenging time, families that are going through a challenging time. I want, the best I can, to get it right,’ he said. 

Astrid Burkle, aged 10, told ABC News she is worried about 'mean' people blocking her healthcare

Astrid Burkle, aged 10, told ABC News she is worried about ‘mean’ people blocking her healthcare

Astrid Burkle, aged 10, is seen with her sister Abs, mother Alicia and father Aaron

Astrid Burkle, aged 10, is seen with her sister Abs, mother Alicia and father Aaron

Aaron Burkle and his wife Alicia says they are considering moving away from Ohio if DeWine approves the bill

Aaron Burkle and his wife Alicia says they are considering moving away from Ohio if DeWine approves the bill

One of the worried families was the Burkles, who said they were angry towards the ‘mean’ people seeking to prevent the treatments.  

Astrid Burkle, a ten-year-old transgender girl told ABC News‘It’s been really frustrating at times. Because there’s just so many people out there who are just really mean.’

Her mother, Alicia Burkle, said that while her daughter was currently too young to have surgery, she was receiving extensive therapy and mental health care, and was concerned that Ohio could ban more significant treatment such as puberty blockers before her daughter was old enough to receive it.

Aaron Burkle, her father, said their local community has been supportive, but her sister Abs said they may leave Ohio if trans treatment for minors is blocked.

‘We want to be able to support our communities and the state of Ohio, but like, people are going to leave,’ said Abs Burkle. ‘People are going to be hurt. They’re not going to want to come back to Ohio.’

Alicia Burkle agreed with her daughter and said they would move if they had to.

‘Just because you’ve said that you’re not going to allow us to get the care here in Ohio doesn’t mean we’re suddenly going to stop getting the care for our kids,’ said Alicia Burkle.

‘We trust the science, we trust her healthcare providers. And so we’re going to do what we have to do and whether that is travel out of state to get it, whether it’s leave the state and move – that’s what we’ll do.’

During the December 13 debate, state senator Paula Hicks-Hudson argued against the bill, saying that it prevented parents from acting in their child's best interests

During the December 13 debate, state senator Paula Hicks-Hudson argued against the bill, saying that it prevented parents from acting in their child’s best interests

'While I have reached a different conclusion on whether to sign this bill, I do share a number of these concerns and agree that action is necessary regarding a number of issues that they have raised,' DeWine said of those involved in writing the bill

‘While I have reached a different conclusion on whether to sign this bill, I do share a number of these concerns and agree that action is necessary regarding a number of issues that they have raised,’ DeWine said of those involved in writing the bill

At least 20 states have passed some version of a ban on transgender athletes playing on K-12 and collegiate sports teams statewide. 

Those bans would be upended by a regulation proposed by President Joe Biden´s administration that is set to be finalized early next year.

Gender-affirming care has been called safe and effective by more than 20 major national medical associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association, as ABC reported.

The AMA has said this care can be medically necessary to improve the physical and mental health of transgender people.

During the December 13 debate, state senator Paula Hicks-Hudson argued against the bill, saying that it prevented parents from acting in their child’s best interests.

‘When we look at this legislation, let’s be clear, it is not necessarily about preventing children from being exposed to these types of procedures, but it is preventing parents who are making decisions about the health care of their children,’ she said.

‘It also removes that decision for health care from professionals and parents and gives it again to government.’

But Terry Johnson, another state senator and a retired physician, said he was in favor of blocking the treatments.

‘If you don’t know if something you’re doing is going to hurt someone 10, 15, 20 years down the road – or maybe even one year down the road – don’t do it,’ he said.

‘While I have reached a different conclusion on whether to sign this bill, I do share a number of these concerns and agree that action is necessary regarding a number of issues that they have raised,’ DeWine said of those involved in writing the bill. 



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