COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Two controversial bills, House Bill 68 and House Bill 6, have to do with transgender Ohioans and are moving through the Ohio Statehouse, each with a long list of Republican co-sponsors.
“There’s just a real onslaught against trans peoples’ rights to exist in the public sphere,” board secretary of Trans Ohio Dara Adkison said. “But we’ll keep fighting back. You have to.”
HB6, or the Save Women’s Sports Act, brought out dozens of opponents. The bill would ban transgender girls and women from participating in female sports through college. Proponents said it is about fairness, but opponents argue that the bill takes away their rights.
“Our humanity matters and our rights matter and we’re going to keep at it because we’re not going away,” Adkison said. “Transgender people have been here forever and we’re going to keep being here even if members of the Ohio state legislature are trying to make our lives more difficult.”
HB66 or the SAFE Act brought out nearly 20 supporters on Wednesday morning. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Gary Click (R-Vickery) said the bill is about protecting kids.
“This is about the science,” he said. “It’s not about how many are for and how many are against. It’s about kids who are being harmed.”
The bill was brought forward last general assembly but ultimately dropped before the new year.
The current draft is the bill’s third version and would do things like:
- Prohibit doctors from knowingly performing gender reassignment surgery on minors
- Prohibit the prescription of cross-sex hormones to minors
- Would require mental health professionals who diagnose or treat a minor for a gender-related condition to annually report certain information to the Ohio Department of Health
“I think this version is better because we do truly, you know, listen,” Click said. “We care about every child. I don’t care how they identify, we love them. We want them to be treated with love and respect, period. Whoever they are, whatever they’re going through. But we want to understand this better.”
Click, who sponsors the SAFE Act, said this does not come between families and doctors — but said it regulates an industry that is “incapable of self-regulation,” citing reasons like money and ideals.
“They’re pushing an ideology,” he said. “They’re not pushing science. They’re pushing an ideology.”