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Ohio House could soon take up single-sex bathroom bill

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(The Center Square) – While a court weighs the legality of Ohio’s ban on transgender health care for minors and single-sex sports teams, the Ohio House could soon vote on a bill to require single-sex bathrooms in schools.

The House is scheduled to meet again Wednesday and could take up House Bill 183, which would require all public schools, chartered nonpublic schools, educational service centers and colleges and universities to have specified bathrooms for exclusive use of biological male or female students.

“The bottom line of this legislation is to protect students. I don’t see that as a controversial issue,” Rep. Adam Bird, R-New Richmond, said. “Many Ohioans don’t want their local schools to allow the opposite sex into a restroom or locker room. The Protect All Students Act will eliminate difficult situations for school leaders and will create consistent policies across the state.”

The bill passed the House Higher Education Committee recently on a Republican-led party-line 10-5 vote.

It also would prohibit public and nonpublic schools and ESCs from allowing a biological female to share overnight accommodations with a biological male.

“We are grateful to the House Higher Education Committee for doing what is right and what is best for all Ohio students in Kindergarten through college,” Rep. Beth Lear, R-Galena, said. “The Protect All Students Act, originally drafted by former State Representative Kris Jordan, will keep our children safe from exposure to the opposite sex while in private spaces like restrooms, locker rooms, and overnight accommodations.”

Bird and Lear said they introduced the legislation because they heard from many across the state who are concerned about their local schools allowing the opposite sex into restrooms and locker rooms or sharing overnight accommodations that are designed for multiple students.

Earlier this week, a Franklin County judge put a two-week hold on the state’s ban on gender-affirming health care for minors and males competing on female sports teams.

Attorney General Dave Yost promised to continue to defend House Bill 68 which was scheduled to take effect April 24.

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