Lawsuit filed against Ohio over restrictions on health care for transgender youth
Health

ACLU Sues Ohio Over Gender-Affirming Care Ban for Transgender Youth, Leaving Fate of Bill Uncertain

The ACLU of Ohio and global law firm Goodwin have filed a lawsuit against the state over House Bill 68, which is set to become law in less than a month. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of two 12-year-old transgender Ohio girls and their families, argues that they would lose critical, medically necessary health care under the legislation.

The ACLU has been vocal about their intention to seek legal action against HB 68 for months, stating that the ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth is cruel, scientifically unfounded, and unconstitutional. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit argue that HB 68 violates the Ohio Constitution by breaking the single-subject rule for legislation and discriminating against trans minors. The legislation also prevents them from participating on youth teams that align with their gender identity.

Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed HB 68 last year, but GOP lawmakers in the Ohio House and Senate voted to override the veto in January. Rep. Gary Click, who was instrumental in the passage of HB 68, acknowledged the likelihood of a lawsuit and expressed confidence that the legislation would withstand legal challenges. He cited an amendment backed by GOP lawmakers from over a decade ago as further evidence of its constitutionality. However, major American medical associations support puberty blockers and other treatments for trans youth.

The common pleas court has not yet scheduled a hearing in the case, leaving the fate of the legislation uncertain. The ACLU cites this uncertainty as evidence of how dangerous HB 68 is to transgender youth in Ohio and calls on lawmakers to reconsider its passage before it becomes law.

In summary, House Bill 68 is set to become law soon despite opposition from major American medical associations supporting puberty blockers and other treatments for trans youth. The ACLU filed a lawsuit against it on behalf of two transgender girls and their families arguing that it violates their rights under Ohio Constitution by breaking single-subject rule for legislation and discriminating against them. The fate of this bill remains uncertain as no hearing has been scheduled yet in common pleas court where it was filed by ACLU

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