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The transgender revolutionaries want our children

And Ohio’s Republican governor gets their applause with a veto

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks about his veto of House Bill 68 during a news conference in Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 29. Associated Press/Photo by Carolyn Kaster

The transgender revolutionaries want our children

The vast revolutions in morality that have reshaped the modern landscape have been spectacularly successful, with very few exceptions. In the last half-century, the basic moral judgments held by many (if not most) within our society have been transformed, and the issues cover massive moral terrain, including divorce, gambling, and biomedical issues. But the main current of the moral revolution is sexual, and the liberalization of sexual ethics continues to advance and to amaze. Taken as just one example among many, the LGBTQ revolution has advanced even faster than its early prophets had imagined.

But the transgender revolution has hit a major snag. It turns out the vast majority of people in the increasingly secular West are ready to abandon just about any vestige of the inherited sexual morality, but they are apparently unready to abandon biology. The transgender revolution is taking on water, and it is the only major part of the LGBTQ revolution to do so, at least thus far.

As a matter of fact, serious research now indicates that Americans have actually cooled toward transgender and non-binary arguments. The same is even more true in Europe, where restrictions on so-called “gender affirming” treatments for children and adolescents are increasingly common and medically supported. Common sense and biology are quite difficult to ignore when it comes to a teenager demanding trans or non-binary identity, and concerns about medical “treatments” for such children and teenagers are growing, not shrinking.

That brings us to last week’s decision by Ohio governor Michael DeWine to veto legislation overwhelmingly passed by the state’s legislature that would have protected children and teenagers in that state from such procedures. DeWine, a Republican who previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the Senate, had sent signals that he was uncomfortable with the legislation, known as “House Bill 68.” The bill would have protected minors in Ohio from hormone and surgical treatments. Furthermore, the legislation would have prevented biological males from playing on female sports teams in both high school and college.

DeWine’s veto places him at odds with biology, common sense, Christian morality, and centuries of moral wisdom. His public display of angst over the issue is exactly what we come to expect from public officials taking such actions, especially when the officials are Republicans and the states are conservative. Former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson did and said basically the same just a couple of years ago.

In his veto message, DeWine said that he was acting according to medical advice and in support of parental rights. He said his action was “about protecting human life.” He summarized his argument with these words: “Parents are making decisions about the most precious thing in their life, their child, and none of us should underestimate the gravity and difficulty of those decisions.”

Gov. DeWine’s veto is yet another wake up call for us all.

Conservatives certainly agree about the priority of parental rights and authority. But, as DeWine conceded in his statement, “there are rare times in the law, in other circumstances, where the State overrules the medical decisions made by the parents.” Those circumstances should be exceedingly rare, but we are talking about the hormonal modification and surgical mutilation of children and teenagers here. As if to argue with himself, DeWine then turned around and announced that he is “directing our agencies” to prevent “surgery of this kind” for those under age 18.

So much for granting parents that decision. A look at the details indicates that DeWine vetoed legislation that would have banned both hormonal and surgical treatments and would have banned biological males from competing as females on sports teams. He vetoed the bill and announced that he was going to ban the surgical procedures by administrative action. That apparently leaves the hormonal treatments and would still allow biological males to compete as females.

LGBTQ activists cheered DeWine’s veto, as did the Endocrine Society. The medical establishment in the United States is overwhelmingly committed (at least in public) to the LGBTQ revolution. There is also the matter of big business for the medical establishment with the conveniently defined new standards of care. All this now comes with clear and present danger to the children and teenagers of Ohio, and to the integrity of sports in the state as well. Gov. DeWine also knows full well that his veto will almost certainly be overcome by the state’s legislature, since the original legislation passed by veto-proof majorities in both houses.

As a result of this veto, Gov. DeWine’s future in the Republican Party at the national level is now about that of … former Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Hutchinson, you can forgive yourself for forgetting, is making a run for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. In most polls, Hutchinson’s support has not yet broken 1 percent in Iowa. That is just about what Mike DeWine’s future looks like as well.

The really bad news is that all this has happened in Ohio, and not in California or New Jersey. In that sense, Gov. DeWine’s veto is yet another wake up call for us all. This fight is not going to be over any time soon, and the revolutionaries have even bigger plans for the future. They have already told us so.

R. Albert Mohler Jr.

Albert Mohler is president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College and editor of WORLD Opinions. He is also the host of The Briefing and Thinking in Public. He is the author of several books, including The Gathering Storm: Secularism, Culture, and the Church. He is the seminary’s Centennial Professor of Christian Thought and a minister, having served as pastor and staff minister of several Southern Baptist churches.

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