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ACLU of Ohio says lawsuit coming soon over law affecting trans kids


The ACLU of Ohio said it’s preparing a lawsuit to try to stop Republican-supported legislation from going into effect that would limit health care for trans kids and ban trans athletes from participating in girls’ sports.

Freda Levenson, legal director for the ACLU of Ohio, said the suit will be filed before the new law goes into effect on April 23.

“So, we are suing in order to protect the rights of patients and their families to make these personal decisions on the advice of evidence-based physician’s prescriptions and without interference from politicians,” Levenson said.

Last week, the GOP-dominated Senate overrode Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of that bill. The Republican-led House had overridden DeWine’s veto earlier this month.

But in an ironic twist, an amendment backed by GOP lawmakers worried about Obamacare restricting health care choices more than a dozen years ago is being cited as a reason why this new bill is unconstitutional. Levenson said the amendment passed in 2011 makes the new law unconstitutional.

“It’s prohibiting the purchase and the sale of necessary health care, commonly prescribed health care, essential health care that protects the well-being of children in our state,” Levenson said.

Levenson said all of the major American medical associations support puberty-blocking treatments for transgender youth.

The sponsor of the new law says the suit lacks merit

Sponsor Rep. Gary Click (R-Vickery) said he wasn’t surprised that the ACLU of Ohio plans to sue over HB 68, which includes the sports ban and the Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act, the ban on gender transition treatment sponsored.

“They have a storied history of inventing fictitious rights whole opposing actual rights such as those enshrined in the SAFE Act,” Click said.

Click said families should “never fear losing custody of their children for not consenting to superstitious gender ideology.”

“Gender-affirming care is a slogan, not science. Sex changes for children and counseling with parental consent are not the types of civil rights embedded in our constitution,” Click said.

Click said the suit lacks merit and added the 6th Circuit has already ruled in favor of similar legislation. But a federal judge in Arkansas has overturned similar legislation on gender transition treatment. And in April, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a trans girl in West Virginia could compete on her middle school’s girls’ cross country and track teams while her case is being appealed.

The ACLU isn’t saying exactly when the case will be filed. But it says it “will file its lawsuit to halt the law before it takes effect on April 23, 2024.”


Contact Jo Ingles at
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