Monday, February 26, 2024

In December, lawmakers passed a measure, arguing that parents are pressured by doctors to sign off on transition care treatments for their children. Representative Gary Click, the bill’s sponsor, said parents are “being manipulated by the physicians.’’

The bill not only bans transition care for minors but also threatens medical professionals who provide the care with the loss of their licenses and potential lawsuits. It also prohibits transgender girls and women from playing on high school and college sports teams that correspond with their gender identity.

Governor DeWine expressed his opposition to the bill, saying that Ohio would be implying that the government knows better what is medically best for a child than the parents that love them the most. This decision came after the governor visited hospitals and met with families affected by gender-affirming care.

The passing of the Ohio bill was part of a year that saw many new laws being passed to regulate the lives of transgender youth. Ohio adds to a growing list of states with restrictions on gender transition medical care for minors, in a year where dozens of laws posing various restrictions have been enacted.

The argument supporting transition care bans is based on the belief that these treatments for minors are relatively new, and their long-term effects are not well studied.

The passing of this bill has prompted a request from transgender youth and their families in Tennessee to the Supreme Court to block the state’s ban on transition care for minors, which could have wider consequences for state bans across the country if the case is heard.

For now, minors in Ohio can continue to receive gender transition treatments. If the Ohio legislature, where Republicans hold a supermajority, decides to override Mr. DeWine’s veto, only those who have already been receiving treatments will be able to continue them.

About 100,000 transgender minors live in the 23 states that have laws restricting gender-affirming care. Federal judges have blocked enforcement of the laws in some states and let them go into effect in others, prompting many families to move across state lines to ensure continued treatment for their children.

The passing of the Ohio bill came amidst a growing wave of new laws and transgender restrictions, making a landmark year for the regulation of transgender youth.

Anna Betts contributed reporting.

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