Press Statement: Equality Ohio Responds to Revised ODH and OMHAS Rules by DeWine Administration


February 7, 2024

Media Contact: MD Sitzes, Communications Manager, media@equalityohio.org 

Equality Ohio Responds to Revised ODH and OMHAS Rules by DeWine Administration

Columbus, Ohio – February 7, 2024 – Equality Ohio, the statewide advocacy organization for LGBTQ+ rights, issued a response today to the newest draft administrative rules released by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS) regarding healthcare options for transgender Ohioans, otherwise known as gender affirming care. These updated draft rules were released in response to substantial criticism of the original draft rules from community members, patients and experts alike.  

Co-Interim Executive Director Siobhan Boyd-Nelson stated, “We appreciate the responsiveness to the significant concerns voiced by thousands during the comment period. 

“Clarifying that these draft rules are not applicable to adult care was of critical importance and will be a massive relief to thousands of transgender people receiving care in Ohio who have spent the last few weeks scrambling to make contingency plans in case their care is cut off. 

“However, we continue to have deep reservations regarding the remaining provisions, and we maintain that the best course of action would be for both agencies to rescind the draft rules in their entirety.  

“The requirements around data collection including mandating that reports be sent directly to the General Assembly—the same legislative body that has spent years directly attacking transgender people and ignoring the will of parents, kids, and providers—puts transgender people at increased risk of continued discrimination. Healthcare decisions are fundamentally private and transgender Ohioans, like all Ohioans, deserve dignity and agency with regards to their medical decisions.”

Boyd-Nelson continued, “Ohio voters have consistently expressed their support for bodily autonomy, and Equality Ohio will continue mobilizing our community to ensure our voices are heard. We urge decision-makers to prioritize the rights and dignity of all Ohioans, and rest assured, we will be vigilantly watching.”

Equality Ohio remains firm in its commitment to advocating for inclusive policies and protections for the LGBTQ+ community across Ohio.


About Equality Ohio

Equality Ohio identifies and transforms systems and institutions so LGBTQ+ Ohioans can fully access legal and lived equality.