Governor DeWine Faces Backlash: Veto of Women’s Sports and Minors Bill Sparks Skepticism Among Critics


Back in June 2021, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, explained why he opposed any efforts by the Republican-controlled General Assembly to pass bills that protected women’s sports by preventing transgender “women” from competing in them.

DeWine said at the time that “this issue is best addressed by individual sports leagues or athletic associations such as the Ohio High School Athletic Association who can tailor their policies to meet needs of member athletes and member institutions.”

DeWine hasn’t changed in his opinion, even though he vetoed a bill, HB 68, which was intended to not only protect women’s sports but also to prevent children from undergoing life-altering gender transformation surgery.

The PDF document:

To enact sections 3109.054, 3129.01, 3129.02, 3129.03, 3129.04, 3129.05, 3129.06, 3313.5319, and 3345.562 of the Revised Code to enact the Saving Ohio Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act regarding gender transition services for minors, and to enact the Save Women’s Sports Act to require schools, state institutions of higher education, and private colleges to designate separate single-sex teams and sports for each sex.

DeWine, in a press release, explained his veto, pointing out that parents make “gutwrenching” decisions on behalf of children about transition surgery. He said these decisions should be left to the parents and medical professionals.

DeWine noted that he had taken actions to prevent the state legislature (thread), from trying to override the veto:

After vetoing House Bill 68, Gov. Mike DeWine stated, “Were I sign House Bill 68…Ohio would be saying the state, the government, knew better what was medically best for that child than the parents, who are the people that love that child most.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said his administration would work on administrative rules to:

1) Ban gender-transition surgery for children

2) Report to relevant agencies data on pediatric gender transition treatment

3) Prevent pop-up gender clinics from providing poor care

Gov. Mike DeWine expressed his hope that his plans of administrative actions would dissuade Ohio legislators from overriding the veto he had placed on the bill prohibiting gender-transition treatments for children. He said that his plan goes beyond the bill in certain ways, including by requiring data collection.


DeWine’s critics including Save Women’s Sports spokesperson Riley Gaines didn’t buy it.

She tweeted: “Fortunately, Ohio can override the vote.” “@GovMikeDeWine needs to be removed as he is a spineless liar.”

“Governor Mike DeWine does not fit the conservative stereotype in any way.” She wrote that this veto does not accurately represent Ohioans.

Chloe Cole – a de-transitioner who has been outspoken and powerful in her testimony to Congress – also had an intense reaction to DeWine’s veto.

“Gov. Cole said that DeWine’s political career was over. What a way of going out. The medical lobby in Ohio is incredibly powerful. Remember his desire to mutilate and sterilize children.

Derek Merrin, a state representative from Ohio, is one of those who have already expressed their support to override DeWine’s veto.

I am in favor of overriding the Governor’s veto on HB 68. House Republicans have enough votes to override the Governor’s veto.

It should be done at the first session of our January meeting. We must protect children from life-altering, permanent surgeries and defend women’s sports.

John Husted, the Republican Lieutenant Governor of New York, is also in support of the bill.

My opinion about HB 68 has been sought. I need to support this bill because of two reasons. It is not appropriate to make permanent medical decisions about gender when you are still a child. I hope that the SAFE Act becomes law in Ohio.

Stay tuned to keep up to date with what the Republican leaders of Columbus decide.