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Council condemns Ohio bill that would ban gender-affirming care for trans youth

Cecilie Johnsen

Cincinnati officials say a proposed state law to ban gender-affirming care for trans youth would put kids' health and safety at risk. Council passed a resolution Wednesday condemning House Bill 454.

Vice Mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney introduced the resolution.

"Studies have found that receiving gender affirming care is associated with 60% lower odds of moderate or severe depression, and 73% lower odds of suicide and suicidal thoughts," Kearney said.

Cincinnati resident Kris Hanks Patton thanked council on behalf of her transgender daughter.

"Our daughter is a person, a teenage girl, a kid like every other; being trans is only a facet of who she is," Patton said. "I am here to stand up for her and every single trans kid just like her. These children are being attacked from all angles. They need us to fight for them."

HB 454 would prohibit doctors from providing care like hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgery, and would prevent insurance plans from covering that care.

Gender-affirming care is recommended by medical associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Cincinnati was the first city in the U.S. to ban conversion therapy for minors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

"Cincinnati has come so far and their support of the LGBTQIA community and we need to fight every one of these evil bills," Patton said. "We need to say loudly Cincinnatians will protect trans kids, period; Cincinnatians will stand up for every single child with all we've got."

Council voted last month to condemn a bill that would ban "divisive concepts" in schools. Council Member Reggie Harris says he's working with Kearney to introduce a resolution to condemnHB 616, Ohio's version of Florida's so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill.

Mayor Aftab Pureval says these measures are part of a nationwide effort by some "to legislate discrimination into the laws of our states," and the bills "represent monstrous, hate-filled discriminatory attempts by elected leaders."

This story has been updated to correct the name of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.