For immediate release: 12/29/2023
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Equality Ohio Applauds Governor’s Veto of HB 68
COLUMBUS, Ohio (December 29, 2023)– Today, Governor Mike DeWine vetoed HB 68, a bill that would have prevented health professionals from providing best practice treatment to transgender youth, as well as barred transgender youth from participating in school sports with their classmates.
Alana Jochum (she/her), Outgoing Executive Director of Equality Ohio and Policy Director at Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF):
“Governor DeWine’s bold action today to Veto HB 68 extends beyond Ohio. Not only does his veto physically safeguard the care of transgender youth from surrounding states who come to Ohio for its world-class health care, it sends a message to the nation that these harmful bills must stop. When thoughtful people like Governor DeWine open their minds and hearts to listen to those impacted by these bans and the science supporting holistic care of transgender youth, they come to the same conclusion: Transgender kids deserve our love and support–including access to lifesaving care. Thank you, Gov. DeWine, for allowing both love and science to lead you in this moment.”
Maria Bruno (she/they), Policy Director of Equality Ohio, issued the following statement:
“Governor DeWine’s veto today is a relief for Ohio’s transgender youth, parents, health care professionals and educators who can finally take a breath and get back to their lives. After speaking with health care experts and listening to the thousands of Ohio parents, faith leaders and business owners who vehemently opposed this bill, we are heartened that the Governor saw this bill for what it was: a blatant attempt at government overreach. HB 68 would have stripped parents of their ability to make private decisions about their own kids’ health care, and made it impossible for doctors and school staff to do their jobs and support young people. It also would have blocked transgender girls from participating in school sports. HB 68 was always about putting a target on trans kids’ backs and playing politics with kids’ lives. Now, families can rest assured that their private lives remain free of government interference. In the New Year, I hope more of our politicians will follow the governor’s brave lead and reject political games that threaten our freedoms.”
Siobhan Boyd-Nelson (she/her), Interim Executive Director of Equality Ohio, added:
“Governor DeWine’s decisive veto of HB 68 demonstrates a commitment to upholding the rights and well-being of Ohioans, and we applaud his decision. Today, we also celebrate a victory for transgender youth and their families. Thank you to the thousands of Ohioans who called, emailed, testified and rallied against this bill. Ohio is our home, and your voices have been heard loud and clear. Together we have preserved the rights of parents to make private healthcare choices for their children and ensured that healthcare professionals and educators can continue to support young people without undue interference. Equality Ohio will remain steadfast in advocating for the rights of Ohioans, regardless of their gender identity or expression.”
- Every major medical association and leading world health authority supports gender-affirming health care for transgender people, including young people, as safe, effective, medically necessary care. See 30+ medical expert and association statements here.
- Governors in Kentucky, Utah, Wisconsin, and Arizona have also vetoed similar bills. Federal judges in Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee have all ruled against these states’ respective bans or blocked bans from being enacted.
ABOUT EQUALITY OHIO
Equality Ohio Education Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that advocates and educates to achieve fair treatment and equal opportunity for all Ohioans regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Learn more: www.equalityohio.org.