Sunday, October 10, 2004


Issue 1: Scratch the surface for bigots, hypocrits

Saturday's Dispatch reported that one of the more vocal proponents of Issue 1, the anti-gay marriage Ohio constitutional amendment, favors criminalizing homosexuality:

"A supporter of State Issue 1, the proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, said yesterday that homosexuality should be a crime in Ohio.

Patrick Johnston, a Dresden physician, street preacher and vice chairman of the Constitution Party of Ohio, spoke at a Columbus Metropolitan Club forum on Issue 1, which voters will decide on Nov. 2. Proponents call Issue 1 the "Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage."

'We need to stop the judicial activism that is going to force homosexual marriage on the unsuspecting public,' Johnston said during a debate with Alan Melamed, of Ohioans Protecting the Constitution, a coalition opposing the marriage amendment.

Pressed to elaborate on his opinions, Johnston added, 'I support and endorse criminalization of homosexuality.'"

Given his description, I doubt that Johnson is THE driving force behind Issue 1. As a matter of fact, the Dispatch reported that Citizens for Community Values, the "official" group behind the initiative, said Johnson was not speaking officially on OCPM's behalf in the debate.

Okay, but what about CCV or anyone with OCPM repudiating Johnson's statement? The reality is that they won't because that is exactly the sentiment that the proponents of Issue 1 are trying to appeal to.

The headquarters for the Issue 1 effort is Hamilton County. Cincinnati is a beautiful city, but the Hamilton County region has some deeply anti-liberty feelings that always seem to me to be a cover for seriously repressed desires.

Case in point is Mike Allen, Hamilton County prosecutor - outgoing prosecutor that is. Allen made a name for himself fighting to keep "pornography" (he has a pretty broad definition) from being sold publicly. Allen is also a close associate of the above-mentioned CCV, which has a broader agenda of fighting porn and other materials that "violate Judeo-Christian values."

But despite being Mr. Morals to the public and the press, Allen turned out to suffer from the "Rush Limbaugh" effct. Allen, you see, had a dark side that included hitting on his own staff despite being a married man.

My point is that I suspect that if homosexuality were ever criminalized in Ohio, about one-tenth of the CCV supporters might behind bars themselves.

The oppostion to Issue 1 has been disappointing. Although there are many high profile individuals and businesses that have said they oppose it, they have not been exactly vocal nor organized.

The dirty little reason for this is fairly obvious. The Republicans are overtly and covertly whipping up support for Issue 1 because they need it to have a big turnout to generate votes for Bush in southern Ohio to counteract the Kerry votes in the center and northern parts of the state. And, a many of the businesses and individuals who oppose Issue 1 are heavily involved with the Republican Party.


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