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Doctors and other medical providers can deny healthcare to LGBTQ+ patients on ‘moral grounds’, as per a new law signed by the state’s Republican governor.
2021 has been a record-breaking year for anti-LGBTQ+ laws across the US, with several states signing bills into law affecting the rights of transgender citizens, with hundreds more introduced or in the pipeline.
Ohio’s newly-signed state budget ‘speaks to what pulls us together and it reminds us that we have so much more in common than the things that pull us apart’, Governor Mike DeWine said, failing to mention a provision that gives healthcare providers the right to reject people on moral, ethical or religious grounds.
As reported by ABC News, the $74 million budget includes a 700-page document of amendments. DeWine later posted a four-page summary of those amendments to his website, failing to mention the new provision against the state’s LGBTQ+ community, aligning with the actions of other conservative states.
Gwen Stembridge, who works with Equality Ohio, said, ‘It makes it clear that there are people who do not want the LGBTQ+ community to access healthcare and that is not ok.’
‘It should go through the committee process. It should go through the process that a bill goes through, sneaking it in a budget is sneaky and it’s deceitful. It’s a time when they knew people would be distracted and so they snuck it in there and it passed,’ she added.
‘The fear of going to the doctor and of knowing are they going to treat me equally? Am I going to get the care that I need? That is already the question and this just exacerbates that,’ Stembridge said.
While DeWine vetoed some of the amendments to the budget, he didn’t take issue with the LGBTQ+ matter at hand. ‘I think we have to respect people’s rights and people’s ability to make those decisions,’ he said.
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