Judge Blocks Ohio Law Shielding Minors From Transgender Procedures, Keeping Males Off Female Sports Teams
Hand of nurse preparing arranging medical surgical tools on tray wearing latex gloves protective workwear for safety in surgery operation room in hospital with medical professional doctor nurse.
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A county judge in Ohio placed a temporary block on the state’s law shielding individuals under 18 years old from life-altering transgender procedures for two weeks or until consideration of a broader injunction against the law. 

The law, called the “Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act,” bans so-called “gender-affirming” surgeries, such as double mastectomies on girls who identify as boys, in addition to prohibiting giving minors cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers. The law does not prevent minors who were already placed on puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones before the legislation passed from staying on them. 

Franklin County Judge Michael J. Holbrook put a hold on the law saying that it may have been unlawful because the Ohio Constitution says that bills should have no “more than one subject.” The “Safe Act” included both a ban on transgender procedures and stipulated that males could not compete on female sports teams at grades K-12 and the collegiate level. 

The law, slated to go into effect on April 24, will be placed on hold for two weeks unless a hearing for a preliminary injunction against it takes place before that time. The ACLU challenged the law, claiming it was discriminatory. 

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, a Republican, said he expected the law to be upheld eventually. 

“This is just the first page of the book,” he said. “We will fight vigorously to defend this properly enacted statute, which protects our children from irrevocable adult decisions. I am confident that this law will be upheld.”

The law was passed by Republican lawmakers in January over the veto of GOP Governor Mike DeWine. It was sponsored by state Rep. Gary Click (R), who said Tuesday that the law would be upheld after litigation was resolved. 

“We have lower court disappointments but higher court victories,” he said, according to 10WBNS. 

Click added that “there’s no constitutional right to injure children, there’s no constitutional right to chemically castrate children… there is no constitutional right to this, this is malpractice and we’re gonna win in the end.”


DeWine said he expected the court battle to go to the state Supreme Court. 

“Everybody knew that this would go to court eventually,” DeWine said. “Whatever the decision the local judge makes, it will go up to the court of appeals and I’m sure it will go from there to the Ohio Supreme Court.”

More than 20 states have passed similar laws to Ohio’s, with most surviving court challenges so far. The Supreme Court on Monday allowed an Idaho law protecting minors from transgender procedures to go into effect while litigation against it proceeds.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, a federal appeals court ruled that West Virginia’s transgender sports ban violates a federal civil rights law that protects students from sex-based discrimination.

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