June 20, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Ohio Bans Transgender Youth Care: Controversial Legislation Sparks Concerns Among Families

New Laws Restrict Gender-Affirming Care for Minors, Transgender Sports Participation

Ohio’s Republican-dominated Senate voted to override GOP Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto, leading to the enactment of a new law that brings about sweeping changes affecting transgender individuals, particularly minors.

The legislation, set to take effect in approximately 90 days, introduces several restrictive measures. It prohibits gender-affirming surgeries and hormone therapies for individuals under 18, limiting mental health care options for transgender youth. Additionally, the law bars transgender girls and women from participating in girls’ and women’s sports teams at both the K-12 and collegiate levels.

The Senate’s override, which passed 24-8 along mostly party lines, underscores the deep divide on this issue. Senator Nathan Manning, a Republican from Cuyahoga County, broke ranks with his party, emphasizing the contentious nature of the decision.

For families with transgender children, the new law poses challenges and prompts difficult decisions. The impact of the legislation has led some families to contemplate relocating. Despite having recently settled in a safer community, Scaglione and her partner are considering moving out of state, feeling unwelcome in Ohio.

Governor DeWine, who faced criticism from his party for vetoing the legislation, defended his decision as a measure to prevent government overreach in medical decisions. However, earlier in January, he signed an executive order prohibiting gender-affirming surgeries for individuals under 18, a move that contradicts medical professionals’ claims that such surgeries are not occurring in the state. The ongoing legislative and executive actions in Ohio highlight the complex and emotionally charged nature of transgender rights and healthcare decisions.

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