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OH Senate overrides governor's veto; enacts protections for kids, women's sports

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2024

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Matt Sharp, director of the ADF Center for Legislative Advocacy, regarding the Ohio Senate’s override Wednesday of Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of H.B. 68, the Saving Ohio Adolescents from Experimentation Act, legislation designed to protect children from the administration of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and identity-driven surgeries. The bill includes the Save Women’s Sports Act, which protects single-sex teams and sports at schools, state institutions of education, and private colleges. The Ohio House of Representatives overrode the governor’s veto earlier this month, so now this bill becomes law:

“We commend the Ohio Senate for overriding Gov. Mike DeWine’s misguided veto of the SAFE Act, a bill that rejects the politicized and harmful practice of pushing minors towards irreversible drugs and surgeries in favor of compassionate mental health care that gives them time to grow into comfort with their bodies and true identities. Biology is clear: There are only two sexes—male and female—and denying this basic truth only hurts the most vulnerable, our precious children. Now and always, young people deserve the loving embrace of family members who guide them toward this truth rather than be subjected to risky, often irreversible, and life-altering experimentation and drugs. These approaches are dangerous, as they block healthy puberty, alter hormonal balance, and remove healthy organs and body parts. No one has the right to harm children, and, thankfully, states have the power—and duty—to protect them. Ohio joins more than 20 other states and several European countries in fighting for truth and curtailing the deployment of harmful surgeries and drugs that are devastating countless lives.”

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Christiana Kiefer:

“Women and girls deserve a fair and level playing field. Yet when males are allowed to enter the women’s sports arena, they have clear biological advantages that result in female athletes losing medals, podium spots, public recognition, and opportunities to compete. And no young woman should be forced to share a locker room with a male. By ignoring science and common sense, girls and women become the victims. Sadly, activists have rejected reality and chosen ideology over what’s just for women and girls. We applaud the Ohio Legislature for overriding the governor’s veto of the SAFE Act and enacting the Save Women’s Sports Act, becoming the twenty-fourth state to protect female athletes. These critical protections ensure that fair athletic competition is preserved. Women and girls must be able to compete in confidence, free of facing unfair biological advantages.”

  • Pronunciation guide: Kiefer (KEE’-fur)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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Related Resources

ABOUT Matt Sharp

Matt Sharp serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where he is the director of the Center for Legislative Advocacy and focuses on state and local legislative matters. Since joining ADF in 2010, Sharp has authored federal and state legislation, regularly provides testimony and legal analysis on how proposed legislation will impact constitutional freedoms, and advises governors, legislators, and state and national policy organizations on the importance of laws and policies that protect First Amendment rights. He has testified before the United States Congress on the importance of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Sharp also authored an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of nearly 9,000 students, parents, and community members asking the court to uphold students’ right to privacy against government intrusion. Sharp earned his J.D. in 2006 from the Vanderbilt University School of Law. A member of the bar in Georgia and Tennessee, he is also admitted to practice in several federal courts.

ABOUT Christiana Kiefer

Christiana Kiefer serves as senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is a key member of the Center for Conscience Initiatives. Since joining ADF in 2012, Kiefer has worked to protect women's and girls' sports and has defended the bodily privacy rights of students. She has also worked to protect the constitutionally protected freedom of churches, Christian schools, and Christian ministries to exercise their faith without government interference. Kiefer earned her J.D. in 2010 from Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy, where she graduated first in her class and served as a teaching assistant in criminal law. Also in 2010, Kiefer completed the ADF leadership development program to become a Blackstone Fellow. She is admitted to the state bar of California, the U.S. Supreme Court, and numerous federal district and appellate courts.