The Republican-controlled Ohio state House voted on January 10 to override Governor Mike DeWine’s veto on legislation barring male athletes from participating in women’s sports and banning transgender medical treatment for minors, the Associated Press reported.
The Ohio Republican Governor vetoed the legislation in late December, arguing that he thought the issues raised in the bill should be addressed through administrative rules that he said would stand a better chance of surviving a judicial challenge.
The House voted along party lines to override DeWine’s veto in a 65 to 28 vote. The Republican-controlled state Senate will take up their override vote on January 24.
Republican state Rep. Gary Click, the sponsor of the bill, said he hoped the override and possible future legislation would encourage doctors and others who had been afraid to testify against transgender treatment for minors to come forward and speak out against the practice.
In remarks on the floor after the override vote, Democrat state Rep. Dr. Beth Liston, a pediatrician, accused the Republicans of arrogance and argued that the lawmakers were not doctors or mental health professionals.
Around 20 US states have enacted laws or regulations restricting transgender medical procedures for minors. Many have faced legal challenges with courts issuing mixed rulings. A similar law in Arkansas was struck down by a federal judge who said the ban violated the Constitution.
Similarly, about 20 states have approved a ban on males participating in women’s sports, in K-12 and college.
After vetoing the bill, DeWine issued an executive order on January 5 proposing regulations aimed at addressing some of the elements of the legislation. DeWine’s order would have banned minors from undergoing transgender surgeries but allowed non-surgical treatments like the use of hormone replacement and puberty blockers.
DeWine’s executive order did not address the question of so-called “transgender” athletes participating in women’s sports.