Bathroom Gender Bill Passes Ohio House

( – Ohio became the latest state to ban students who identify as transgender from using opposite-sex restrooms and locker rooms, marking the latest development in an ongoing battle across the country over so-called “gender ideology.”

On Wednesday, June 26, the Ohio House of Representatives added HB 183 as an amendment to a bill by the Ohio Senate, Bill 104. In a vote of 60-31, the measure passed through the state House of Representatives. Two Republicans crossed the aisle and voted against the legislation.

GOP Ohio Rep. Beth Lear of Galena, who co-sponsored the bill, said in a statement that boys and girls should use separate locker rooms. The legislation applies to universities and K-12 public and charter schools and also bans the sharing of overnight accommodations between co-ed high school students and younger grades.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine promised to sign the bill. In January, the governor tried to veto another bill banning so-called “gender-affirming care” for minors, instead signing an executive order that only partially limited the practice on minors after speaking with parents of gender-confused children who claimed their kids would have committed suicide. State lawmakers overruled the veto, although a judge in Franklin County halted the measure temporarily in April as a result of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Multiple states have approved similar legislation prohibiting mixed-sex bathroom and locker room use based on gender identity, including Alabama, Mississippi, Idaho, Florida, North Dakota, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Utah, Iowa, Arkansas, and Kentucky. Opponents are challenging these laws, arguing that “gender-affirming care” saves lives, which those who want to restrict or ban it argue is a form of medical malpractice.

The issue has become one of the major dividing lines between the two major political parties and will be a deciding one for many voters in the presidential election in November. Last year, Trump vowed to end the practices on minors, while President Joe Biden and his administration have been vocal supporters of allowing minors to “transition.”

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