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Lawmaker says DeWine’s transgender order not enough

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(The Center Square) – Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s executive order banning transgender surgeries for minors in Ohio may not be enough to stop a veto override ride in the General Assembly.

House Bill 68 sponsor Rep. Gary Click, R-Vickery, called the order temporary and is no substitute for a law.

“I am cautiously optimistic about the governor’s ban on sex reassignment surgeries for minors today,” Click said in a statement. “The SAFE Act will not be in effect until ninety days after the Senate overrides the veto on Jan. 24. That would leave children vulnerable for the next three months and his decision provides instant protection.”

Both DeWine and LGBTQ+ support groups have said no children’s hospital in the state performs transgender surgeries on minors, but Click insists they are being done regularly in the state.

“Minors are too young to calculate the extensive risks and comprehend the likely possibility of future regret,” Click said. “Despite the governor’s claim to the contrary, these surgeries are occurring in Ohio on a regular basis and should only be available to adults who are fully capable of evaluating the hazards associated with them.”

On Friday, DeWine reiterated his veto message that parents, not the government, should make health decisions for children and also issued new rules for public comment for the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction.

Those rules include protections for adults and children receiving transgender care in the state hospitals that would stop what DeWine called “fly-by-night” providers or clinics giving out medications without quality care.

The rules would also require multi-disciplinary teams at hospitals to provide support care, including psychiatrists and a comprehensive plan of the risks associated with the treatment and required mental health counseling.

Click believes the legislature is a better option for establishing restrictions.

“It is inappropriate to discard the hard and deliberative process of the general assembly and take ownership of this issue,” Click said. “We have three separate branches of government for a reason. While I support his efforts as a temporary measure, I cannot accept them as a substitute for the SAFE Act. His suggestion that we take his measures and place them in a bill for his signature was insulting. He had ample opportunity to participate in the SAFE Act, and he vetoed it. There are no mulligans.”

The House has scheduled a session for Wednesday, when Click said it plans to override DeWine’s veto. The Senate calendar lists Jan. 24 as its next session, but The Ohio Channel website shows a session scheduled for broadcast Wednesday.

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