Ohio Senate Overrides Governor’s Veto of Transgender Bill

Ohio Senate Republicans voted on Wednesday to override Gov. Mike DeWine’s (R) veto of a bill that protects minors from sex change drugs and procedures and bans male participation on female sports teams.

The Ohio Senate voted 23-9 to override DeWine’s veto of the bill, called House Bill 68 or “Enact Ohio Saving Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act.” The move comes after the Ohio House voted on Jan. 10 65-28 along party lines to override the veto. The bill will become law in 90 days.

FILE – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks Jan. 21, 2022, in Newark, Ohio. DeWine won high marks early in the pandemic with his stay-at-home mandates. But now Mike DeWine is facing backlash for those moves from his party’s far-right faithful as he runs for a second term. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File)

State House Rep. Gary Click (R), the bill’s main sponsor, issued a statement soon after the vote celebrating the bill’s passage and calling  it a “milestone for Ohio and the nation.”

“The Safe Act and Save Women’s Sports Act are the civil rights issues of our day, ensuring that children have the right to grow up intact and that women are no longer subject to men invading their spaces,” Click said in part.

“…I will always be grateful to the families who have suffered so much harm for choosing me to be their advocate in the legislature to challenge the system and create the safeguards necessary to prevent further victims of harmful, ideologically driven medical interventions,” he continued. “The SAFE Act literally saves adolescents from experimentation and will return our institutions to the evidence-based medicine that they should have never forsaken.”

Click added that “There is still more to be accomplished.”

“Women and children deserve the greatest protections on the national level. We must ensure that all individuals who experience retreat have full access to both medical and mental health resources as they realign with their authentic selves,” he said.

Under the bill, health care providers who break the law could face disciplinary action from their licensing board. The law also allows K-12 and college students to sue their school, school district, interscholastic body or other related organization if they believe they have been deprived of an athletic opportunity because of a male’s participation on a female sports team.

Ohio is the 22nd state to bar minors from sex mutilating drugs and procedures and the 24th to bar males from playing on female school sports teams, NBC News reported.

Lawmakers in the Ohio House and Senate had overwhelmingly passed HB 68 before DeWine vetoed the bill on Dec. 29, breaking from his own party. In doing so, DeWine showed that he accepted the left’s hysterical claims that opposition to transgenderism causes children who identify as transgender to commit suicide. The governor said he made his veto decision after speaking to medical providers and added, “I’ve also listened to youth and parents. Parents who have told me if not for this treatment, their child would be dead.”

“The consequences of this bill could not be more profound. Ohio would be saying the state, the government, knows better than the two people who love that child the most, the parents,” DeWine said at the time.

After DeWine vetoed the bill, he issued an executive order banning sex-change surgeries for minors while still enabling parents to procure puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for their children. He also announced several proposed rules on the subject, including targeting “fly-by-night” providers, or clinics that are doling out sex-change drugs without quality care.

The draft rules would mandate that a multi-disciplinary team, including but not limited to an endocrinologist, a bioethicist, and a psychiatrist, oversee an individual through the sex-change process, he announced at a press conference last Friday. The rules would also require a “comprehensive care plan” that includes “sufficient informed consent from patients and parents if we are dealing with a child” about the risks associated with sex-change drugs and procedures, which can include a loss of fertility. The rules would require comprehensive and lengthy mental health counseling before moving forward with a sex change.

DeWine’s veto and subsequent executive order and draft rules appeared to be a play at appeasing both sides of the transgenderism debate by outlawing extreme sex-mutilating procedures for minors while still allowing the beginning of social and chemical sex transitions in the name of parental rights. DeWine appears to be part of a subset of Republicans who claim parents have the right to subject their children to so-called “gender-affirming care.” For example, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley and former candidate Chris Christie, have claimed that outlawing sex-mutilating drugs and procedures would disempower parents from making decisions about their children.

That sentiment was reflected in comments from Ohio Democrats during the override process, as well as a recent ruling out of Idaho regarding the state’s ban on sex-change drugs and surgeries for minors, in which the judge claimed in his order that “parents should have the right to make the most fundamental decisions about how to care for their children.”

In his statement, Click acknowledged his difference of opinion with DeWine but argued that the governor had good intentions in blocking the bill.

“This battle between the legislative and executive branches was over policy but not personality. I feel confident that Governor DeWine acted from his heart. I continue to feel that with more time and opportunity it may be possible for the governor to share in our understanding of this vital issue,” Click said.

“Nevertheless, he did what he felt was right, as he should. The legislature, however, felt just as strongly if not more so that HB 68 was imperative to save lives, uphold medical ethics, and reaffirm women’s rights. The sentiment of Ohio’s citizens was heard and reflected across the nation. The citizens of Ohio were unequivocal in their demand that the legislature act and we did. The system worked,” he said.

Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on X @thekat_hamilton.

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