Ohio’s House takes up controversial bills affecting LGBTQ children later today

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Two bills that affect LGBTQ children will be heard on the House floor Wednesday. One would prevent children under 18 years old from accessing hormones or puberty blockers as well as gender reassignment surgical procedures. The other would ban trans athletes from playing on women’s sports teams in Ohio’s k-12 schools as well as college.

A woman holds a sign that reads Affirming Care Benefits Trans Youth at a protest
Demonstrators outside the Ohio Statehouse showing support for transgender kids as a House committee hears a Republican backed bill to ban gender affirming treatments for minors under 18. [Daniel Konik | Statehouse News Bureau]
House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) told reporters Tuesday that various versions of these bills have been considered by lawmakers for years and he thinks the bills have been thoroughly debated.

“I think it’s time to have a vote on the full House floor,” Stephens said.

Democrats who oppose the bills disagree. They said they need to be debated longer. In a written statement, Ohio House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) blasted the bills.

“These bills are nothing but state-sponsored bullying of our LGBTQ community,” Russo said.

Throughout the past few months, advocates for LGBTQ children have testified, mostly against, the bills. They’ve protested at the Statehouse, too. Some parents of transgender children who are now undergoing treatments said they will be forced to leave Ohio for their child to continue to receive care. But both bills have support from Republican lawmakers who control both the House and the Senate. The Senate has already passed the legislation.

The bills will be debated during House session. That is set to start at 2 p.m. today.