Friday, January 27

Full Ohio Senate passes trans athlete ban; Republicans add 2,000+ pages on school reform/anti-vax measures

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Late Wednesday evening, the full Ohio Senate passed HB 151, which would ban trans youth from participating in athletics.

At 10:30pm, the Senate returned from a break and added more than 2,000 pages onto HB 151.

The additions were comprised of SB 178, a bill to “reform function, responsibilities of state education offices.” This controversial bill largely strips the Ohio Board of Education of much of its power.

Republicans also added an amendment that prohibited schools from discriminating against a student who has not had a COVID vaccine.

Democratic lawmakers immediately stood to decry both the original bill and the additional 2,000 pages that were suddenly tacked onto HB 151.

Senator Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) — Ohio’s sole out LGBTQ+ legislator — stood up alongside her colleagues to say that the additions were “not good public policy.”

Despite those objections, the HB 151 passed 23-7, along party lines, with Republicans voting for it.

The bill now heads back to the Ohio House to approve of the changes the Senate has now made to the bill.

If it passes the House, HB 151 would then head to Governor Mike DeWine desk for signature. DeWine had previously indicated he would veto such a ban on trans athletes.

“This issue is best addressed outside of government, through individual sports leagues and athletic associations, including the Ohio High School Athletic Association, who can tailor policies to meet the needs of their member athletes and member institutions,” DeWine said in a January 2021 statement. 🔥

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The Buckeye Flame amplifies the voices of LGBTQ+ Ohioans to support community and civic empowerment through the creation of engaging content that chronicles our triumphs, struggles, and lived experiences.

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