Ohio’s House votes to override the veto of a gender-affirming care ban

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — By 65-28, Republicans in the Ohio House broke with Gov. Mike DeWine and voted to override his veto of House Bill 68, which blocks trans youth from access to gender-affirming care and from participating in girls’ athletics. It now heads to the Ohio Senate.

Floor testimony for and against the override stretched longer than an hour Wednesday afternoon, as Republicans vocally rallied behind the proposal that first cleared the chamber in June. They also voted against hearing DeWine’s objections to HB 68 read out loud on the floor, although Rep. Mike Skindell (D-Lakewood) later read them word-for-word on the floor.

The voting board shows the Ohio House votes to override a veto of HB 68.
[Sarah Donaldson | Statehouse News Bureau ]
After DeWine vetoed the bill in late December, saying he saw it as a life-or-death matter for some Ohioans, numerous GOP leaders decried the decision—including most of the statewide executive officeholders, including Attorney General Dave Yost and Secretary of State Frank LaRose.DeWine signed an executive order banning surgeries for trans minors and proposed other related administrative rules related to gender-affirming care Friday morning, but those did little to stave lawmakers off an override vote.Advocacy organizations, like the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and Equality Ohio, have also condemned the governor’s efforts.In addition to surgeries, HB 68 bars physicians from prescribing hormones and puberty blockers to minors and creates penalties for those who do, among other provisions. The bill also mandates that K-12 and collegiate teams in Ohio be “single-sex,” and enables athletes to bring forth civil lawsuits against any institution that violates that mandate.Veto overrides need three-fifths votes in both chambers, but the Ohio Senate isn’t scheduled to meet until Jan. 24. A spokesperson for the Senate GOP said last week it has the votes—regardless of when they are counted. Republicans hold supermajorities in both chambers.