In response to the upcoming passage of House Bill 68, which bans care for gender-affirming transgender people, the ACLU of Ohio has filed a lawsuit against the state. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two 12-year-old transgender girls and their families, one from Hamilton County and one from Franklin County, who claim they would lose “critical, medically necessary health care” under HB 68.

The ban is cruel and unconstitutional, according to the ACLU Legal Director Freda Levenson. The lawsuit claims that HB 68 violates the Ohio Constitution by violating the single-subject rule for legislation and discriminating against trans minors. In addition to banning transition treatment, HB 68 blocks them from participating on youth teams that align with their gender identity.

An amendment backed by GOP lawmakers concerned that Obamacare limited health care choices more than a decade ago has also been cited as unconstitutional by the ACLU. Major U.S. medical associations support puberty blockers and other treatments for trans youth, Levenson said, which is why she wants doctors to continue prescribing care for patients under the current status quo. “Prohibited interventions are the medical profession’s standard of care,” she said.

Rep. Gary Click (R-Vickery) was instrumental in passage of HB 68 and knew a lawsuit would materialize from the very day he started working on it. Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed HB 68 late last year, but nearly all GOP lawmakers voted in the Ohio House and Senate sessions to override that veto in January. Click said other courts in other states have upheld similar laws

By Samantha Johnson

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