Ohio Governor Mike DeWine exercised his executive authority on Friday to veto House Bill 68, a contentious measure that sought to prohibit gender-affirming care for minors and to restrict transgender athletes’ participation in girls and women’s sports.
House Bill 68 proposed to ban physicians from providing gender-affirming care, such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy, to trans youth and would prohibit gender reassignment surgeries for minors. It also sought to bar transgender girls from competing in female sports categories.
In defending his decision, the spineless governor argued that the complexity of the issues at hand required a more nuanced approach than the bill provided.
“I think it’s very important that we all remember that all those on each side of this issue sincerely and truly believe their position best protects children. These are truly complex issues and reasonable people, reasonable people can draw vastly different conclusions. 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 bill could not be more profound,” said DeWine during press conference.
“Ultimately, I believe this is about protecting human life. 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 life when they were teenagers. What so many of these young people and their families have also told me is that nothing they have faced in their life could ever prepare them for this extremely tough journey.
“Parents are making decisions about the most precious thing in their life, their child. And none of us, none of us should underestimate the gravity and difficulty of those decisions.”
“Therefore, I cannot sign this bill as it is currently written. And just a few minutes ago, I vetoed the bill,” DeWine said.
The veto has been met with a range of reactions. Supporters of the bill, many within DeWine’s own Republican base, express disappointment, suggesting that the veto marks a failure to protect children from irreversible decisions and to maintain fairness in girls’ sports.
Rogan O’Handley, known as DC Draino wrote, “Remember what I said Never trust a politician who has spent nearly all their adult life running for office They become beholden to donors Mike DeWine is 1 of those losers He had terrible Covid policies, he botched the East Palestine response, and now he vetoed a bill banning men from women’s sports.”
President of Ethics and Public Policy Center, Ryan Anderson wrote, “Ohio Governor Mike DeWine just vetoed an outstanding bill that protected the integrity, fairness, and safety of sports, and protected children from unethical medical attempts at the impossible—“affirming” a sexual “identity” at odds with reality. Have caved to special interests.”
Author Lizzie Marbach wrote, “Parents do not have a right to abuse their children, Mike DeWine. Note how the “parental rights” talking point is now just being used by hacks like DeWine now to promote degeneracy.”
The Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, which had opposed the bill, highlighted the importance of individualized, medically-informed decisions regarding gender-affirming care, pointing to the potential for serious mental health outcomes if such care is restricted.