Friday, May 27

A 3rd hearing was just scheduled for HB 454 to deny trans youth gender-affirming care. Here’s what you need to know.

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A 3rd hearing (proponent testimony) for HB 454 will be held on Thursday, May 26 at 9am in the Families, Aging, and Human Services Committee of the Ohio House of Representatives. But that’s not the only major item on the agenda.

Here’s what you need to know:

What is HB 454?

Dubbed the Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, HB 454 is intended ” to prohibit certain procedures to alter a minor child’s sex.”

If passed, HB 454 would:

  • Prohibit medical professionals from making referrals to individuals under age 18 to any medical doctor for gender transition procedures.
  • Prohibit school staff from encouraging or coercing a minor to withhold from the minor’s parent or legal guardian the fact that the minor’s perception of his or her gender is inconsistent with his or her sex.
  • Force school staff to share with a minor’s parent or legal guardian information related to the minor’s perception that his or her gender is inconsistent with his or her sex.
  • Prohibit any health insurance policy or other plan providing health care coverage in Ohio from providing reimbursement for gender transition procedures for individuals under 18.

Who proposed HB 454?

The co-sponsors of HB 454 are Republicans Gary Click (R-Vickery) and Diane Grendell (R-Chester Township). Click is a Baptist pastor and Grendell was a Judge of the Ohio Eleventh District Court of Appeals for 18 years. HB 454 currently has 23 co-sponsors, all Republicans.

What happened at the first two hearings for HB 454?

The first hearing for HB 454 on February 17 was, in a word, wild. In only one hour, the hearing featured healthy doses of transphobia, shout-outs to shadow religious organizations, testimony from a former porn star, a gasp-inducing invocation of the c-word, and an Adele reference thrown in for good measure.

The second hearing on May 19 was pretty darn awful. The 3 1/2-hour hearing included representatives from two organizations declared hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a few moms armed with a ton of unprovable anecdotes, and a host of out-of-state witnesses who travel the country appearing before state legislatures to invalidate the experiences of trans individuals. Gender-affirming care was compared to dog training, an analogy was made to the Holocaust, and trans individuals were called “a social contagion.”

What will happen at this third hearing of HB 454?

Like the first two hearings, this third hearing of HB 454 is proponent testimony. This means more testimony provided only by supporters of the bill. Expect to hear more transphobic statements for a full line-up of individuals.

But that’s not all!

First up at this hearing will be a reading of HB 480, “to authorize private right of action for abortion or aiding abortion.” From that bill:

“No person shall purposely perform or attempt to perform an abortion…Any person may bring a civil action against any person who performs or induces an abortion…or knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion for a woman who the person knows to be pregnant.”

This will likely be an extraordinarily charged meeting.

Will there be protesting outside that opponents of HB 454 can join?

YES.

At Thursday’s second hearing, a protest could be heard all throughout the session from individuals outside the statehouse advocating for appropriate, competent, and safe gender-affirming medical care, regardless of age or gender-identity.

Another protest will be held at the 3rd hearing. More info here.

Who is really behind HB 454?

At the February 17 meeting, Representative Click said he “was asked to carry this bill by parents and by the Center for Christian Virtue.”

The extraordinarily rightwing, Columbus-based CCV was formerly called the Citizens for Community Values, and has had connections to every piece of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation proposed in the past few sessions of the Ohio legislature.

Minutes after Rep. Click admitted the connection to CCV, he bafflingly testified that HB 454 has “no religious motivations.”

When will opponents of HB 454 be allowed to testify?

It is expected that opponents of HB 454 will be allowed to testify in favor of gender-affirming care on June 2nd. This has not yet been officially scheduled.

Where can you watch the 3rd hearing for HB 454?

The Ohio Channel broadcasts hearings live and then quickly archives them on the committee’s video page. Though the meeting starts at 9am, HB 454 is the 3rd item on the committee’s agenda for the morning.

BE WARNED: If this proponent testimony is like the last one—and prior hearings guarantee it will be—many transphobic comments will be said. 🔥

Ignite Action:

  • If you are struggling, please remember you are not alone. Contact Trevor Project for 24 Hour Crisis Services.
  • Trans Lifeline provides trans peer support for our community that’s been divested from police since day one. Their hotline is 1.877.565.8860.
  • Equality Ohio has a whole linktr.ee with actions dedicated to speaking out regarding HB 454, including how to contact this committee hearing the testimony.

About Author

Ken Schneck is the Editor of The Buckeye Flame. He is the author of "Seriously, What Am I Doing Here? The Adventures of a Wondering and Wandering Gay Jew" (2017), "LGBTQ Cleveland" (2018), "LGBTQ Columbus" (2019), and "LGBTQ Cincinnati" (2020). In his spare time, he is a professor of education at Baldwin Wallace University.

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  1. Pingback: ‘Greater harm than good’: HB 276 already *PASSED* the Ohio House. Here’s why it’s dangerous for LGBTQ+ Ohioans. - The Buckeye Flame

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