Ohio’s transgender community and LGBTQ advocates are pushing back against a proposed GOP bill that would restrict a child’s ability to change his or her sex and receive social and medical transition assistance thereafter.
The blowback comes after the Ohio GOP introduced and is pushing House Bill 658, which grants parents the right to “withhold consent for gender dysphoria treatment or activities that are designed and intended to form a child’s conception of sex and gender.” The parents would also be able to decide whether their children would receive counseling, therapy or treatment related to their gender dysphoria.
Republican House Reps. Tom Brinkman and Paul Zeltwanger sponsored the bill, which also bars schools from recognizing students as a gender different from their birth gender unless the parents give consent. Violations of the law would constitute a fourth-degree felony.
“This unnecessary and discriminatory bill does nothing to support youth and families,” Equality Ohio said in a statement, alleging that the bill harms all of Ohio’s transgender youth.
Recognizing children as transgender and allowing them to medically begin transitioning is important because physical changes are much harder after a child has gone through puberty, Cleveland’s LGBT Community Center youth program coordinator Jackson Siegel explained, Fox8 reports. “It becomes more difficult [to transition] as individuals get older,” he said.
Brinkman doesn’t think that children are able to make life changing decisions at such a young age, and that parents are entitled to oversee the well-being of their kids. “Parents have a fundamental right to decide what is best for their children,” he said in May before the bill was officially introduced.
House Bill 658 will soon head to the House floor committee for debate.
Medical research shows 80 to 95 percent of children outgrow their gender dysphoria naturally and accept their biological sex if nature takes its course. There hasn’t been a single long-term randomized study on the effects of hormone-blocking treatments on children, and no laws govern or regulate hormone-blocker usage.
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