Ohio’s HB 68 Faces Legal Challenge from ACLU and Goodwin: Transgender Girls and Their Families Seek to Block Healthcare Ban

Lawsuit filed against Ohio over restrictions on health care for transgender youth

House Bill 68, set to become law in less than a month, has been challenged by the ACLU of Ohio and the global law firm Goodwin. A lawsuit was filed in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas on Tuesday afternoon, seeking to block HB 68 from going into effect. The lawsuit is filed on behalf of two 12-year-old transgender Ohio girls and their families, arguing that they would lose critical medically necessary health care under the legislation.

The ACLU has been vocal about their intention to seek legal action against HB 68 for months, stating that the ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth is cruel, scientifically unfounded, and unconstitutional. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit argue that HB 68 violates the Ohio Constitution by breaking the single-subject rule for legislation and discriminating against trans minors. The legislation also prevents them from participating on youth teams that align with their gender identity.

The ACLU cites an amendment backed by GOP lawmakers from over a decade ago as further evidence of the unconstitutionality of HB 68, noting that major American medical associations support puberty blockers and other treatments for trans youth. Rep. Gary Click, who was instrumental in the passage of HB 68, acknowledged the likelihood of a lawsuit and expressed confidence that the legislation would withstand legal challenges.

Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed HB 68 last year but GOP lawmakers in the Ohio House and Senate voted to override his veto in January. Click pointed to other states where similar laws have been upheld in court as a defense of HB 68. The common pleas court has not yet scheduled a hearing in the case, leaving the fate of the legislation uncertain

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