In 2004 one of the things Karl Rove and company, in an effort to rally and get out the far right vote, supported so called Defense of Marriage ballot measures which sprang up across the United States. Not unlike foul, poisonous hallucinogenic toadstools.
Here in Ohio the ballot measure for an Amendment to the State Constitution banning Same Sex Marriage and recognition of such unions from other States may have been the driving force in the loss of this battleground by John Kerry.The issue passed. For the first time Ohio's Constitution bans equality of a certain portion of the population. That was then.
This is now.
Currently there is a petition drive to place a Marriage Equality Amendment on the ballot in 2014. As the GOP extremists are fond of saying, "Repeal and replace". This should galvanize the progressive vote in Ohio. It will likely help the Democrats in The Buckeye State. It is actually garnering support from former Republican officeholders. Why this sudden show of sanity here after our inmates running the asylum politics of the last few years? In my opinion I'd say demographics, image,jobs and the economy.
Younger people in American society simply are not fixated on sexual orientation. They know and are friends with out homosexuals. They have other worries than what someone is doing in their bedrooms.
When it comes to jobs and the economy Ohio is at a disadvantage. Highly educated members of the LBGT community leave to live where they are not objects of legally mandated discrimination. High Tech and other cutting edge firms are less likely to relocate for the same reason. In the 21st Century institutionalized discrimination is bad for business and image. Those jobs and companies go elsewhere.
This Amendment makes Ohio look intolerant, backwards ignorant. Oh believe me it can be all of those things when poked in the right place.
So how do the people who pushed this anti gay law to begin with feel about this?
Governor John Kasich does not support gay marriage. You will likely see him come out in opposition to a ballot issue.
Your national organizations are again wringing their hands over the destruction of the religious foundations of America and the coming outlawing of religion.The arguments are stale and repeated ad nauseum.
What they miss in the cacophony of the noise machine is that this has nothing to do with religion. Period. Religious ceremonies are not mandated. It does not effect a single religion. Not one. This legalizes CIVIL marriages.
Civil marriages are performed all the time. Inter faith marriages are not a threat to "traditional" marriage. They aren't illegal or condemned.
The big stick that's always used is traditional christian values. This was the argument used to justify and support slavery. It was used to prevent inter racial marriages. Religion is always used to support the status quo and oppose progress.
The other specious argument is the will of the people. It was voted on. Historical perspective says that voting on what rights a minority should have is always a good idea.
An election in Ohio always attracts media attention and tons of outside money. Civil discourse on the issue is already a casualty
Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) now supports gay marriage. Unfortunately, like too many conservatives. it took his son coming out. He was immediately attacked by the right wing blogosphere and groups. It was suggested gay reversion therapy was an option. As was denouncing and turning his back on his boy. Always classy.
With midterms,elections for Governor and the other Statewide offices happening this won;t be pretty. There is a visceral anger in the electorate following the GOP attacks on women. Those members of the Legislature are all up for reelection also.
So 2014 will here in Ohio be caustic, vicious, filled with personal attacks and lie filled ads. In other words, business as usual..