Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Wednesday, April 26

Ohio House 14th: Ritter (D) Sends Gay-Bashing Mailer

An offended voter in the 14th Ohio House District notified me that he received a mailer from the campaign of public school history teacher Bill Ritter (D-Cleveland), pictured in condensed form at right, which contains the following anti-gay attack on another candidate, tenants organization director Mike Foley (D-Cleveland):
"Mike Foley was asked [in an endorsement interview for the Sun Newspapers] if he was 'For Gay Marriage?' Mike said 'Yes' he supports gay marriage. UNLIKE MIKE this concerns me since I DO NOT want this to become a state law. I feel a Marriage is between a MAN and a WOMAN. That is the WAY I WILL VOTE in Columbus! In FACT Mike Foley has been ENDORSED by the STONEWALL DEMOCRATS, who are a GAY/LESBIAN political action committee. His endorsement is largely because of His Support of Gay Marriage.
This scurrilous bit of gay-bashing is misleading as well as offensive. Ritter makes it sound like a vote on gay marriage is pending or to be expected in the General Assembly. Of course, now that discrimination against gays is inscribed in our state constitution in the form of a ban on same-sex marriage (or civil unions of any kind), there is no prospect of state legislators voting for or against it. Also, endorsement by the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats is not necessarily premised on the single issue of supporting gay marriage.

The 14th District comprises Parma Heights, Brook Park, and Wards 19, 20 and 21 in Cleveland. This is an open seat since former Rep. Dale Miller (D-Cleveland) was appointed to the Ohio Senate earlier this year. The other candidates in the Democratic primary are former State Rep. Erin Sullivan Lally (D-Cleveland), who was recently endorsed by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Susan Mahon (D-Cleveland). The winner will face William J. McGivern (R-Cleveland) in the general election.

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