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Click Releases Statement Following DeWine Executive Order

January 5, 2024
Gary Click News

COLUMBUS – State Representative Gary Click (R-Vickery) has released the following statement Friday on Governor Mike DeWine’s executive order banning sex-reassignment surgeries for minors: 

“I am cautiously optimistic about the governor's ban on sex reassignment surgeries for minors today. The SAFE Act will not be in effect until ninety days after the Senate overrides the veto on Jan. 24. That would leave children vulnerable for the next three months and his decision provides instant protection. Minors are too young to calculate the extensive risks and comprehend the likely possibility of future regret. Despite the governor’s claim to the contrary, these surgeries are occurring in Ohio on a regular basis and should only be available to adults who are fully capable of evaluating the hazards associated with them. 

The governor’s temporary administrative orders are no substitute for solid legislation. Children deserve protection that extends beyond four-year increments. The medical community deserves to operate in a stable and consistent environment, not subject to the whims of a new governor every four to eight years. The irony is not lost on us that Governor DeWine condemns government intervention in the same breath that he issues executive orders just before pivoting to marijuana and demanding that the legislature act. Executive orders are government intervention too and he has just as much ability to use them on marijuana as he does on surgery. He can’t have it three or four ways. 

While I appreciate the desire of the governor to participate, the executive branch is no less the government than the legislative branch, and each serves a distinct role. He has had five years to take the lead and nearly three years to join our process. It is not reasonable to assume that after a ten-day crash course, he is fully up to speed on the issue and equipped to supplant the legislature. 

It is inappropriate to discard the hard and deliberative process of the general assembly and take ownership of this issue. We have three separate branches of government for a reason. While I support his efforts as a temporary measure, I cannot accept them as a substitute for the SAFE Act. His suggestion that we take his measures and place them in a bill for his signature was insulting. He had ample opportunity to participate in the SAFE Act and he vetoed it. There are no mulligans. 

I would be remised not to mention that without HB 68, the Save Women’s Sports Act will be left on the backburner and Ohio’s young women will be left out in the cold again! Ohio’s young women deserve better and should not have to wait one more day for the equality and protections they deserve. 

I have been in communication with the governor, and I appreciate his desire to protect children. We are collaborating on additional administrative efforts that were not included in the SAFE Act. Despite our differences, I appreciate this opportunity to work together on that front and I am happy to partner with him in these efforts. There is an opportunity to enhance the provisions of the SAFE Act, however, there is absolutely no appetite for replacing the SAFE Act through a bureaucratic process. We fully intend to override the governor’s veto beginning on Jan.10.”