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Ohio GOP governor vetoes bill that bans gender-affirming care, transgender athletes in girls sports

DeWine said he vetoed House Bill 68 after speaking with physicians who provide transgender treatments and impacted families.

Published: December 29, 2023 10:57am

Updated: December 29, 2023 1:21pm

Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine went against his own GOP-led Legislature on Friday and vetoed a bill that would have banned gender-affirming treatments for minors and kept transgender athletes out of women's sports.

DeWine said he vetoed House Bill 68 after speaking with physicians who provide transgender treatments and impacted families.

"I've also listened to youth and parents. Parents who have told me if not for this treatment, their child would be dead," DeWine said, according to a local Ohio outlet.

The bill would have required K-12 schools and universities to designate separate teams for male and female sexes, The Associated Press reports. It explicitly banned transgender girls and women from competing in sports that line up with their gender identity. 

The legislation, also known as "Enact Saving Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE)," was passed by a majority of the Ohio legislature that is mostly made up of Republicans.

The GOP members of the legislature could override DeWine's veto, but right now it is unclear if they will do so. DeWine said that he agreed with certain parts of the bill, but could not sign it as it is currently written.

"I invite members of the general assembly to meet with us to collaborate, to work with us," the governor said.

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