HR 272, Ohio's Defense of Marriage Act, is coming up for a vote in the State Senate Wednesday.
This is a letter I dashed off to my state Senator:
Dear Senator Brady,
I am writing to urge you to OPPOSE HR 272, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.
The purpose of our great Republic, and of the states, is to extend Liberty wherever possible, not restrict it unnecessarily. HR 272 not only runs counter to that, it is counter to the trend in our country toward recognizing same-sex relationships.
Businesses throughout our country—from smaller companies like Ben & Jerry’s to the Big Three automakers—are recognizing same-sex relationships. States and municipalities, such as Vermont and Cleveland Heights, are creating domestic partner registries. Several European countries have also recognized same-sex relationships. Despite this, there is no evidence that any of these steps have “threatened” traditional marriage. HR 272 does nothing to defend marriage.
HR 272’s passage will mean a regress in civil rights, which is almost unprecedented in our history. Rather than being at the forefront of the American struggle for equal justice for all, Ohio will be seen as backwards. Our state does not need to become the next Alabama.
The effect of HR 272’s passage on Ohio’s image and its already faltering economy could be devastating. If members of the gay community, such as ourselves, perceive Ohio as an unfriendly place to live, gays and their supporters will be encouraged to vote with our pocketbooks by avoiding the purchase of items from Ohio’s retailers. Prospective residents from out of state may decide to remain out of Ohio, and existing Ohio residents may choose to live elsewhere. It is certain that Ohio’s gay community will also register their outrage at the ballot box—regardless of party affiliation.
It is in the best interests of all Ohio’s citizens, gay and straight, that HR 272 be defeated.