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Ohio governor nixes bill that would have blocked males in women’s sports

Vetoed legislation would also have banned puberty-blocking drugs, ‘cross-sex’ hormones

The governor of Ohio vetoed a measure Friday that would have banned male athletes from participating in girls’ and women’s sports.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said he had “sought out people on all sides of the issue to hear their concerns,” according to a Friday statement.

House Bill 68, also known as the SAFE Act, states that “no school, interscholastic conference, or organization that regulates interscholastic athletics shall knowingly permit individuals of the male sex to participate on athletic teams or in athletic competitions designated only for participants of the female sex.”

The bill, which would also have banned minor “gender-affirming care,” cleared the state’s Republican-dominated House in June, the AP reported.

Ohio Republicans who support the bans quickly spoke out against the governor’s move.

Ohio Republican Bernie Moreno, a Donald Trump-endorsed candidate for the U.S. Senate, demanded the Legislature override the veto.

“Mike DeWine has failed Ohio, and it’s our children who are going to pay the price,” Moreno said in a statement, according to the AP.

GOP Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens told the AP that his chamber is considering its options about beginning a veto override.

Despite vetoing the ban, DeWine “adamantly agree[s] with the General Assembly that no surgery of this kind should ever be performed on those under the age of 18,” according to his statement. “I am directing our agencies to draft rules to ban this practice in Ohio.”

He also called on state agencies to begin drafting rules requiring data collection and independent analysis of transgender interventions.

Even more, DeWine told agencies to draft rules to restrict “pop-up clinics or fly-by-night operations” from providing misleading “inadequate or even ideological treatments.”

‘Gov. DeWine has proven himself to be a spineless coward,’ activist Riley Gaines said

However, two prominent activists who uphold defining “women” as a biological category say DeWine still failed his constituents.

Detransitioner Chloe Cole posted to X following the veto that “Ohio deserves a governor who knows what a woman is.”

Even more, former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines, who advocates for female-only spaces and sports, told OutKick DeWine was a “spineless coward” for vetoing the bill.

“I’m confident and hopeful the Ohio legislature will override his veto,” Gaines said.

MORE: Judge upholds Fl. law that bans men from competing in women’s sports

IMAGE: @Riley_Gaines_/X

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