Conservatives blast Republican Ohio governor as ‘coward’ for transgender bill veto

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Conservatives online torched Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, over his veto of a state bill to protect women’s sports.

The bill, the Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, passed the GOP-controlled state legislature but was vetoed by DeWine on Friday.

The SAFE Act would have barred sex change treatments for minors while blocking transgender women and girls from participating in female sports leagues in Ohio.


Conservatives online torched Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine over his veto of a state bill to protect women’s sports. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

“Were I to sign Substitute House Bill 68 or were Substitute House Bill 68 to become law, Ohio would be saying that the State, that the government, knows what is best medically for a child rather than the two people who love that child the most, the parents,” DeWine said in his veto message.

“While there are rare times in the law, in other circumstances, where the State overrules the medical decisions made by the parents, I can think of no example where this is done not only against the decision of the parents, but also against the medical judgment of the treating physician and the treating team of medical experts,” he continued.

The veto did not sit well with conservatives online, who blasted DeWine over the move.

“This is a slogan, not a justification,” Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, posted Friday on X. “There are many things the law rightfully says no one, including parents, may do to children.”

“This slogan also ignores the extraordinary pressure from interest groups and big pharma to green light poorly understood, irreversible procedures,” Vance continued. “I’m extremely disappointed in the governor’s decision and hope it is overridden.”

GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who is from Ohio, wrote on X that DeWine “just vetoed a simple law that would have stopped boys from competing in girls’ sports [and] stopped kids from undergoing genital mutilation [and] chemical castration.”

“Even Ohio’s Lt. Governor [Jon Husted] favored passage of the bill,” Ramaswamy wrote. “Shame on DeWine.”

“Governor Mike DeWine has vetoed HB 68, a bill that would protect women’s sports and prevent child mutilation,” women’s sports advocate Riley Gaines wrote. “Fortunately, Ohio has the votes to override the veto.”

“[DeWine] is a spineless coward that needs to be removed from office,” she added.

Other conservatives didn’t hold back on DeWine over the veto.

DeWine’s office pointed to the governor’s press release containing the veto message when asked for comment.

Not all Republicans joined in the pile-on of DeWine, however.

Ohio state Rep. Gary Click, a Republican, said the governor was working to “find a solution.”

“The governor did not end the dialogue today. He joined it. I look forward to our discussions,” Click added on X. “There remains much more to say and do. A veto is not the final word.”

The Ohio state constitution requires a three-fifths majority vote in both chambers to override the governor’s veto.


The Ohio state Senate has 33 seats, while the state House is made up of 99 seats.

Currently, Republicans control the super majority in both chambers, with the GOP holding 26 of the 33 state Senate seats and 67 of the 99 state House seats.

Fox News Digital’s Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.


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