Lawsuit filed against Ohio for restricting health care options for transgender youth

The ACLU of Ohio and global law firm Goodwin filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to block House Bill 68—a statewide ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth—from becoming law. The lawsuit was filed in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas on behalf of two 12-year-old transgender Ohio girls and their families, one from Hamilton County and one from Franklin County.

The lawsuit argues that HB 68 goes against the Ohio Constitution by breaking a single-subject rule for legislation and discriminating against trans minors. In addition to the transition treatment ban, HB 68 blocks them from participating on youth teams that align with their gender identity.

The ACLU said months ago it would seek legal remedy over the new rules. “The ban is cruel. It’s not based on science and it’s unconstitutional,” ACLU Legal Director Freda Levenson said in an interview Tuesday afternoon. The amendment backed by GOP lawmakers worried about Obamacare restricting health care choices more than a dozen years ago is also being cited by the ACLU as a reason for why HB 68 is unconstitutional. Major American medical associations back puberty blockers and other treatments for trans youth, Levenson said, which is why she wants physicians to continue prescribing care for patients under the current status quo.

Rep. Gary Click (R-Vickery) was instrumental in HB 68’s passage and said he knew a lawsuit would materialize. “From the very day I started working on the bill, I knew there would be one,” Click said in an interview Tuesday afternoon. Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed HB 68 late last year, but almost all GOP lawmakers voted during sessions of the Ohio House and Senate to override that veto in January. Click said other courts in other states have sustained these laws. “I think they’re (the plaintiffs) going to give it their best shot

By Aiden Johnson

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