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Ohio Lawmakers Override Veto to Ban Gender Surgeries for Minors, Protect Women's Sports

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Ohio has banned gender reassignment surgeries for minors and restricted biological men from participating on women's and girls' sports teams. 

The Republican-dominated state Senate voted Wednesday to override GOP Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto. The new law bans genital-altering surgeries and cross-sex hormones. The measure also bans biological boys and men from playing on girls' sports teams at both the K-12 and collegiate levels.

Officials expect the law to take effect in roughly 90 days. The Republican-majority House had voted to override the veto earlier this month. 

DeWine reiterated Wednesday that he vetoed the legislation, to the chagrin of his party, to protect parents and children from government overreach on medical decisions. But then, the first week of January, the second term governor signed an executive order banning gender reassignment surgeries for people under 18.

State Sen. Kristina Roegner, a Republican from Summit County, asserted on the Senate floor that there is no such thing as "gender-affirming" care and called attempts to alter gender a “fool’s errand.”

At least 22 states have now enacted laws restricting or banning gender reassignment surgeries and cross-sex hormones for minors. Some of the laws face legal challenges, and some have been put on hold by the courts before they have gone into effect. 

Twenty states have imposed similar protections for girls' sports as well, blocking biological men from participating in competitions at the kindergarten through high school or collegiate levels. 

A Gallup poll in June 2023 showed 69 percent of Americans believe athletes should only play on teams that match their birth gender, indicating state laws that restrict the participation for transgender athletes follow the opinion of the U.S. public.

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