Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine made national news vetoing anti-trans bill HB 68 on December 29, 2023. He then announced an executive order to ban gender-affirming surgery for all youth on January 5, 2024. Adding additional adult restrictions, the governor is weaponizing the state’s mental health and public health boards against trans people.
What’s worse: that there have never been gender-affirming surgeries on youth anyway, or that now the GOP controls mental health?
Ohio’s Governor Gives All Transphobic Legislation a Boost
There are 9 anti-trans bills giving the State legislature control over trans existence. DeWine gave all of those a boost by setting a baseline publicly that all trans individuals need psychiatrists; and that parents aren’t trans. By choosing to ban a surgery for minors no minor has reportedly ever had in Ohio, the new Administrative Rules also dictate treatment for trans adults that has nothing to do with standards of care, and are likely not accessible or affordable to most Ohioans. It shows an intentional discriminatory and ignorant disregard for the lives of trans people.
What Did Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Do?
On January 5, 2024, Governor DeWine set up new Administrative Rules to be enforced by the Ohio Department of Public Health and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (ODMHAS). DeWine has been funneling millions into the ODMH for years, and now is using it to enforce unethical practice.
These rules effectively ban gender-affirming care in Ohio. It also puts today’s ethically practicing therapists in an unprecedented position: practice legally, or practice ethically. What’s important to know: the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is integral in all mental health for the whole state.
Their website notes that they coordinates “regional hospital care in the state,” in addition to working with providers.
Ohio Now Aligns With Trump’s Transphobic Rhetoric
Trans Parents and Trans Youth
Ohio House Bill 68 discriminates against parents who provide favored pronouns and names for their own gender diverse children. This means that any parent who is in a shared parenting plan with a former spouse can have their parental rights threatened if HB 68 becomes law.
This is a potential nightmare for people co-parenting with abusive ex-partners, opening up a whole new legitimized way for children to be weaponized within families. The flip-side of this is what the governor didn’t say: trans parents don’t exist. Obviously, these measures are to protect children from all the mentally ill trans adults.
DeWine said the quiet part loudly at Friday’s press conference: he only considers cis-gendered parents to be parents.
I’m a Trans Parent
It’s what Mike DeWine doesn’t say that does the most damage, in my opinion. Leaning in hard to the narrative that queers are scary and bad, he made me publicly open to discrimination. Am I crazy? Do I have parental rights?
Is There Hope?
There’s always hope.
January 10, 2024 at 2 PM the Ohio House votes on whether or not to override DeWine’s self-serving veto.
To possibly STOP THE OVERRIDE click here.
I left a voicemail for the Assistant to the Director of Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. I’m wondering if there’s a plan of implementation in place, given the Executive Order from the Governor. If you would like to contact ODMHAS, their number is: (614) 466-2596.
I was initially referred to the Governor’s office before sent to Nicole Marx’s voicemail by an unknown person who answered the phone at ODMHAS.