Federal judge allows Ohio school policy on transgender bathroom use

A federal judge has ruled that an Ohio school district can go forward with a policy allowing trans students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

“Not every contentious debate, concerning matters of public importance, presents a cognizable federal lawsuit,” U.S. District Judge Michael J. Newman wrote in his decision.
With regard to parental rights, the court said previous court cases cited by those challenging the bathroom policy “make clear that a parent has the right to control where their child goes to school.”

“But that is where the control ends,” the court ruled. “Public school policies that direct school operations, like the (Bethel) board’s policy here – prescribing the use of student bathrooms – are for the school to decide.”

The student’s parents said using a single-occupancy bathroom at Bethel Middle School was creating difficulty because it was “frequently occupied whenever she needed to use it, and she felt ostracized, humiliated and targeted by other students who taunted her for using the separate bathroom,” according to court documents. - Ohio Capital Journal

Legislation we were watching in 2022

Links to learn more about House Bill 454

'Polarizing' and 'Life-Saving': What Actually Is Gender-Affirming Care? An Ohio Doctor Explains

The Buckeye Flame recently sat down with Dr. Crystal Cole, medical director at Akron Children’s Hospital’s Center for Gender Affirming Medicine, to talk about the realities of gender affirming care, the joys and challenges of her work with young trans and gender diverse patients, and the dangers of legislation like Ohio House Bill 454which could ban this life-saving care for trans youth. 

So many people focus on the medical side [of gender affirming care], but there are so many patients who don’t even need or choose to pursue medical treatment. That’s only a small piece of their care.

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Visit Equality Ohio to follow the link to ask legislators to stop this harmful bill.

Change.org contains petitions for not only this horrible Ohio anti-trans bill but others across the US. Please take a moment to sign these petitions.

HB 616 might as well be called a ban on mentioning race, too.

Ohio House Bill 616 pairs some of the most harmful parts of Ohio’s Curriculum Ban, HB 327, with an even more drastic version of Florida’s Don’t Say Gay Bill. This legislation, sponsored by Reps. Jean Schmidt and Mike Loychik, is so broad that it could censor regular conversations about the experiences and families of LGBTQ+ Ohioans, even at high schools.

The bill not only censors critical race theory and the New York Times 1619 Project but also censors “diversity, equity, and inclusion learning outcomes” and “any other concept that the state board of education defines as divisive or inherently racist.” This language is exceedingly vague and broad and will make it open season on free speech in schools. 

HB 616 leaves room to ban discussions about anything and everything these fringe politicians decide they don’t like

Links to learn more about House Bill 616

HB 616 could hurt Ohio’s economy, federal commerce official says

A Biden administration official is warning Ohio about state legislation that limits discussion of race, gender and sexuality in schools — such as House Bill 616 — saying it could put off businesses looking to invest in the state.

Eight of the Columbus region’s 25 largest companies condemned the bill in statements to NBC4 earlier this month. They include seven of the top 10 full-time employers, such as Honda, Cardinal Health and American Electric Power.

“Any legislation that seeks to shame or penalize groups of Ohioans based on gender, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity is contrary to our company values of inclusion and diversity and undermines the positive business climate the state has sought to cultivate,” said Honda spokesperson Chris Abbruzzese in a statement.

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Organizations fighting against these unconstitutional legislation in Ohio

Please click the images to sign their petitions 

Links to learn more about House Bill 208/ Senate Bill  119

Ohio currently does not have a statewide law that protects LGBTQ people from discrimination. 

Senate Bill 119 and its companion House Bill 208 are currently sitting, stalled in committee

Ohio lawmakers have the opportunity to extend basic statewide protections to the LGBTQ community by passing the bipartisan Ohio Fairness ActHouse Bill 208 and Senate Bill 119, companion pieces of legislation that were introduced in February 2021! The Ohio Fairness Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

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