Trump Breaks With Ohio Gov. After Veto of Ban on Child Transgender Surgeries

Trump Breaks With Ohio Gov. After Veto of Ban on Child Transgender Surgeries

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The decision allowed transgender surgeries on children to proceed, and permits males from taking part in female sports in high schools and colleges.

Former President Donald Trump said he is “finished” associating with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine after the GOP official vetoed a state bill seeking to ban transgender surgeries on minors.

“DeWine has fallen to the Radical Left. No wonder he gets loudly booed in Ohio every time I introduce him at Rallies, but I won’t be introducing him anymore. I’m finished with this ‘stiff.’ What was he thinking? The bill would have stopped child mutilation and prevented men from playing in women’s sports. Legislature will hopefully overturn. Do it FAST!!!” President Trump said in a Dec. 30 Truth Social post.
The bill, HB 68 or the Saving Ohio Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, sought to ban physicians from conducting gender reassignment surgeries on minors. They would also be barred from prescribing puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones to children.

Courts would be prohibited from restricting parental rights to raise children per their biological sex. The bill also prevented educational institutions from allowing males to take part in female sports in high schools and colleges.

Mr. DeWine announced vetoing the bill during a Dec. 29 press conference, stating that the decision was taken after consulting with families and children’s hospitals.

“Were I to sign House Bill 68, or were House Bill 68 to become law, Ohio would be saying that the state, that the government, knows better what is medically best for a child than the two people who love that child the most—the parents,” he said.

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Mr. DeWine has thus become only one of two Republican governors who have vetoed bills seeking to restrict gender treatments for children. Back in 2021, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson vetoed a bill criminalizing such treatments.
The Ohio Senate had earlier approved the legislation on Dec. 13 amid protestors chanting “Shame! Shame!” outside the chamber.
Both President Trump and Mr. DeWine have backed each other in various elections. Mr. DeWine supported President Trump for the 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns. President Trump endorsed Mr. DeWine for his two gubernatorial races in 2018 and 2022.

The last time the duo shared a stage together was before Election Day in 2022, when President Trump came to Ohio to extend support for Sen. J.D. Vance’s (R-Ohio) Senate run.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis asked the Ohio legislature to override the veto done by “Trump-endorsed Gov. DeWine.”

“Girls should be able to compete with fairness and integrity in sports. And these procedures are irreversible and should not be allowed, period,” he said in a Dec. 30 X post.

Reactions to Veto

Mr. DeWine’s veto attracted acclaim from pro-LGBT groups and individuals. Equality Ohio, which advocates for the LGBT community, called the veto a “victory.”

“#OhioIsHome, and we won’t tolerate bills that take away our freedoms. We’re relieved to see #HB68 vetoed, and we couldn’t have done it without your support,” the group said in a Dec. 29 X post.

“Thank you @GovMikeDeWine. Lives will be saved because of this critically important veto!” J. Bennett Guess, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio, said in a Dec. 29 X post.

The veto is receiving widespread criticism from conservatives. Terry Schilling, president of the pro-family organization American Principles Project (APP), said the veto proves that Mr. DeWine is “not a capable leader for our times.”

“Now, more than ever, we need leaders who will stand up to these egregious lies and act to protect our children and families. Unfortunately, Governor DeWine has shown he is no such leader,” he said in a Dec. 29 statement.

“Despite the fact that most Republicans and even some Democrats are now seeing this predatory industry for what it is, DeWine still refused to do the right thing.”

In a Dec. 30 X post, Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) called for “Republicans at all levels of government should oppose the mutilation of children. I hope the Ohio legislature can override this veto.”
“Shame on you, @MikeDeWine, for allowing the genital mutilation/sterilization of minor children and for placing the rights of boys declaring themselves ‘female’ over those of girls who just want to play sports fairly/safely. Thank God you can and will be overridden by Ohio legislators,” journalist Megyn Kelly said in an X post.

In order to override the governor’s veto, the Ohio constitution requires a three-fifths majority in both the Senate and the House.

The Ohio House has 99 seats, while the state Senate has 33 seats. Republicans have a supermajority in both chambers, holding 67 House seats and 26 Senate seats.

According to Parker Thayer, an investigative researcher for American think tank Capital Research, “the main entity opposing House Bill 68 seems to have been the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association (OCHA)” from whom Governor DeWine has received donations.

OCHA “has given DeWine $20,000. How nice of him to veto the bill that would have cost ‘gender-affirming’ children’s hospitals millions of dollars,” he said in a Dec. 29 X post. ProMedica, a member of OCHA and the “largest hospital chain in Ohio, also gave DeWine $10,000. ProMedica seems to offer gender-affirming care.”

“Then there’s ‘Friends of Ohio Hospitals, ’ which has sent DeWine over $40,000. Friends of Ohio Hospitals is funded by the senior employees, lobbyists, and Super PACs of many major hospitals in Ohio and around the nation.”


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