Ohio’s minor gender-affirming care, sports ban on hold

Ohio's court fight is one of many taking place across the country dealing with gender-transition care for minors and a sports participation ban.
Girl, transgender flag, Madrid, Spain, July 9, 2022

Supporters of an Ohio law that bans gender-affirming care for transgender minors and stops biological males from competing on female sports teams call a temporary restraining order a minor setback.

Attorney General Dave Yost promised to continue to defend House Bill 68 after a Franklin County Common Pleas judge granted a two-week haul to the new law that was scheduled to take effect April 24.

"This is just the first page of the book. We will fight vigorously to defend this properly enacted statute, which protects our children from irrevocable adult decisions. I am confident that this law will be upheld," Yost said.

The ACLU-Ohio, however, said the ruling means the group is likely to win its lawsuit that argued the law violated the state constitution because it covered more than one subject.

"We are thrilled and relieved that Ohio's ban on gender-affirming health care has been halted and that transgender youth can continue, for the near term at least, to access medically necessary healthcare," Freda Levenson, legal director for the ACLU of Ohio, said. "Our legal battle will continue until, we hope, this cruel restriction is permanently blocked. Ohio families have a constitutional right to make personal healthcare decisions without government intrusion."

State Rep. Gary Click, R-Vickery, said the ruling was not surprising but expects the law will ultimately go into effect.

"We are disappointed but not surprised by this decision. The battle to protect children's rights is a marathon, not a sprint. Based on what I have seen in other states I have anticipated some early disappointments to be followed by eventual victories," Click said in a statement. "This is a temporary measure, and the court has not made its final decision. We have our eyes on the finish line rather than the mile markers."

Ohio's court fight is one of many taking place across the country dealing with gender-transition care for minors and a sports participation ban.

On Monday, The U.S. Supreme Court allowed Idaho to enforce its ban against anyone not involved in a current lawsuit that challenges it.

On Tuesday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down West Virginia's Save Women's Sports Act that prevented those who are male at birth from competing on girls' sports teams.

West Virginia officials promised to appeal.

Also, A group of 16 attorneys general is threatening to take Maine to court if lawmakers approve a bill to shield doctors performing "gender affirming" health care procedures from lawsuits.

House Bill 68 became law after House and Senate Republicans voted to override the veto of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine in December and later issued an executive order that banned gender-affirming surgeries on minors and developed corresponding health care rules for children and adults.