While we were largely surprised by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s (R) veto of a ban of gender-affirming care, it was a calculated political move calculated as a win-win for bigots, and a lose-lose for everyone else.
At the end of 2023, DeWine vetoed House Bill 68 "that would have restricted health care for transgender minors and banned transgender girls from playing on girls sports teams." As USA Today noted,
House Bill 68 cleared both state chambers earlier in December and would have prevented doctors from prescribing hormones, puberty blockers or gender-affirming surgery before patients turn 18 years old.
DeWine’s veto seemed to lean heavily on the GOP doctrine of parental primacy and how parents should make choices for their kids — which sounds reasonable, until you know how many LGBTQIA+ kids are abused or kicked out by their parents.
But that wasn’t all that was going on.
That same USA Today story — quite a bit further down — noted that "DeWine said this week he wants state lawmakers to draft a new version of the bill that" only "bans gender-affirming surgeries for minors."
That wasn’t all. As Jessica Kant noticed, on Jan. 4, " DeWine announced Executive Order 2024-01D. DeWine’s order, primarily being reported as simply a ban on gender-afffirming surgery under 18, contains provisions for the enactment of new regulations on care for trans people of all ages that constitute a de facto ban on gender-affirming care for the majority of trans people in Ohio."
Specificially, that order proposes some new rules which would:
- Prohibit providers from even mentioning where some gender-affirming care they can’t get in Ohio may be available.
- Mandate a comprehensive and burdensome mandatory care plan and layer of paperwork for any person seeking gender-affirming care, regardless of age
- Requires any provider "that provides diagnosis and treatment for gender-related conditions" to annually "demonstrate compliance" by submitting "at a minimum" the entire care plan of the patient. Regardless of age.
No, I didn’t leave out who compliance is demonstrated to; it’s not clearly laid out. However, in addition, those reports — which remember, is the patient’s entire care plan — is required to be sent to the Ohio Department of Health.
The. Entire. Care. Plan. Including details.
For every patient seeking gender-affirming care in Ohio.
Now that Ohio’s legislators have doubled down on their bigotry and overridden DeWine’s veto, that does not mean his additional proposed rules will automatically go away. With this, the GOP’s political grift is almost complete.
- The Ohio GOP has delivered their bigoted agenda, useful to attract hard-line loyalists and bigots.
- DeWine gets to publicly oppose the bigoted agenda, and seem like the "reasonable" one for those disquieted by the open bigotry.
- While the press focuses on DeWine’s "disagreement" with the GOP rank and file, he quietly proposes farther-reaching restrictions and surveillance of trans folx.
- The GOP uses their majority to override DeWine’s veto.
The grift is centered on the illusion that there was a disagreement at all. The illusion that there is any moderation in the GOP’s attack on anyone they decide is too "different".
Jessica Kant’s blog has a wonderful "things you can do right now for Ohio" section:
https://jessk.org/blog/things-you-can-do-right-now-for-ohio. I’ll be doing a number of them after this posts.
As a depressing post-script, bills in my birth state of West Virginia aim to mandate that therapists try to "cure" trans people, among other bigoted asshattery. Check out Erin in the Morning for more on that: https://www.erininthemorning.com/p/west-virginia-bill-would-mandate