December 29, 2023 – Today Ohio Governor Mike DeWine vetoed HB 68 – a bill that would have banned medical care for transgender adolescents, stating: “It is the parents who know their child best.” Across the country, federal district courts have enjoined similar bans enacted by other states, finding that they violate parents’ fundamental right to make medical decisions for their children and also unlawfully discriminate against transgender people. Recently, however, both the Eleventh Circuit and the Sixth Circuit reversed federal district court decisions from Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
NCLR represents transgender adolescents and their parents in Alabama and Kentucky. In Alabama, NCLR has asked the entire Eleventh Circuit to review the panel decision reversing the federal court decision barring enforcement of Alabama’s ban. The ruling barring enforcement of the ban remains in effect while that petition is pending. In Kentucky, NCLR has asked the Supreme Court to review the Sixth Circuit’s decision. Attorneys representing transgender youth and their parents in Tennessee have made a similar request.
Statement by NCLR Legal Director, Shannon Minter (he/him):
“Governor DeWine’s veto marks a major turning point in what has become a tragically politicized battle. Research has shown that the public overwhelmingly believes that parents, not the government, should make medical decisions for their families. This attack on safe, effective, and well-established medical care has already caused enormous anguish and harm to Ohio families, who can now breathe a sigh of relief that their children can continue to receive the healthcare they need. Governor DeWine did the right thing by listening to parents, doctors, and young people and taking the time to understand the facts, rather than catering to political expedience. He has given other elected officials a powerful example of how to respond to these dangerous and harmful bills with similar courage, integrity, and deliberation.”