Here in the Buckeye State we are gearing up (already) for the 2010 elections. So far we have a contested U.S Senate primary between one fully LGBT supportive candidate, Jennifer Brunner and one who "is open to the idea" - Lee Fisher. Now, we are beginning to see a primary fight between Marilyn Brown and Jennifer Garrison for Secretary of State. It's not often that I brand a Democrat a bigot, but sometimes it is needed.
Let me first define what I mean by bigot in this instance. I label anyone who isn't for full marriage equality a bigot. I think that any straight married person that isn't for full marriage equality is an even bigger bigot, in that they hold the special distinction of being in the "I got mine" category. I realize that under this definition both Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama are bigots. So be it.
So, in this Secretary of State contest we have two women. Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown and State Representative Jennifer Garrison.
Two days ago Franklin County became the largest jurisdiction in Ohio to extend Domestic Partner benefits to government employees. Commissioner Brown voted for this measure. In times of economic crisis and with her name on an upcoming state-wide ballot she was willing to vote for a measure that will cost the County money and places her squarely out of the center on this issue. She did it because it was the right thing to do, even if it costs her votes.
When Rep. Garrison was running for her seat in the Legislature, her stand was just a tad different than Commissioner Brown. Mrs. Garrison penned a Letter to the Editor of The Marietta Times that read in part:
Throughout our nation's history, it was simply understood that marriage was between a man and a woman. If our shared heritage and our values weren't enough to instruct us on the definition of marriage, Ohio's law has been clear.
And this is why Ohio's Defense of Marriage Act is so very important. It declares that marriages between people of the same gender are "against the strong public policy of the state" and will not be recognized in Ohio. It is hoped this should be enough to allow Ohioans to continue defining marriage for ourselves as between one man and one woman, and not have another definition forced upon us.
Remember, this is the Democrat in this race. She wrote the letter, because her Republican opponent opposed DOMA. Right, the Democrat gay baited voters and drove a wedge issue into the campaign on our backs.
If the roles had been reversed, the Democratic Party would have feigned horror and risen to arms to decry the divisive politics used by the Republicans. However, that isn't the case. The Ohio Democratic Party has stayed silent on the matter. Equality Ohio, who really likes to hobnob at Democratic events, has stayed silent on the matter as well mostly, I believe, because they want to pass a bill through the body that Rep. Garrison holds a leadership post in. Never mind that it has no shot of passing in the Ohio Senate.
We are seeing on the National stage what happens when we elect any Democrat at any cost. Rahm Emmanuel's Blue Dog strategy is coming home to roost. We need to avoid that same mentality here in Ohio. The seat is not important enough for the Democratic Party to beat down some of it's supporter with one of the platform planks.
I urge you to write James Winnett the LGBT Outreach person for the Ohio Democratic Party and let the part know that we will not stand for discrimnation and bigotry within our own party.