Rep. Shontel Brown (D-Ohio) praised Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) on Friday for his veto of a measure that would have banned gender-affirming care for minors in the state.
DeWine said the measure would do more harm than good for the Buckeye State, and became the second governor nationally to ban a similar bill.
“HB 68 is absolutely wrong for Ohio families and youth and Gov. Mike DeWine was right to veto it,” Brown said on X, formerly Twitter. “Discriminatory state bills like HB 68 underscore the need for additional federal legislation to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ people nationwide.”
The bill also sought to ban transgender women and girls from school sports. There was only a single transgender athlete on an Ohio high school sports team last year, the Statehouse News Bureau found.
The governor said his veto decision came after a two-week “fact-finding mission” meeting with advocates for and against the measure.
“These are truly complex issues, and reasonable people draw vastly different conclusions,” DeWine said during a press conference on Friday. “This bill would impact a very small number of Ohio’s children, but for those children who face gender dysphoria, and for their families, the consequences of this could not be more profound.”
“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 lives when they were teenagers,” he said.
The Ohio GOP holds a super majority in both chambers of the state legislature and is likely to override the veto.
A total of 21 states have passed bans on gender-affirming care for minors, according to the Movement Advancement Project, though some of those laws are being challenged in court.
On Tuesday, Idaho’s gender-affirming care ban was halted by a federal court just days before it was scheduled to go into effect.
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