National News Highlights — November 11, 2022

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James Roesner - Photo courtesy of LGBTQ Victory Fund
James Roesner - Photo courtesy of LGBTQ Victory Fund

First out Trans man elected to US State legislature
James Roesner became the first out Trans man to be elected to state legislature on November 8. Roesner, a Democrat, was elected to New Hampshire's 22nd State House District in what is being called a historic victory for Trans people everywhere. The 26-year-old, who also identifies as bisexual, ran on a platform promoting healthcare as a human right, funding for a stronger public education system, reproductive justice, Trans rights, and workers' rights. According to Out for America, there were eight Trans people serving in state legislatures prior to Tuesday's election, but none of them were Trans men. Nationwide, there are only six out Trans men serving in elected government positions.

Democrat Munira Abdullahi — Photo by Fred Squillante, / The Columbus Dispatch via AP  

Ohio GOP retains veto power
Jokes about Ohio being a hellscape might remain relevant until the state's next election, as Republicans have maintained a veto-proof majority in both chambers of the state legislature. Assuming a vote along party lines, the GOP needs 60 seats in the House and 20 in the Senate to override a gubernatorial veto, and they currently hold 64 and 25.

They've used that power in the past to override Republican Gov. Mark DeWine, and weaken his ability to respond to public health emergencies. The 2023-24 session will likely include the state budget and more abortion restrictions.

Worse still, the legislative district maps used for the election were invalidated by the state's own Supreme Court, on grounds of unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering by the GOP-dominated Ohio Redistricting Commission.

It may be a small comfort that Democrats Munira Abdullahi and Ismail Mohamed will be the state's first Somali lawmakers in the legislature, representing Columbus-area districts in the House.