If you haven't been following it, there is a movement in Ohio to amend the state constitution to permit same sex marriage. In 2004, an organization called Citizens for Community Values pushed through the harshest language in the nation to prohibit same-sex marriage, benefits for life partners, and inheritance rights.
The bully behind this is a self described sex-addict and social bully named Phil Burress, and he is the head of Citizens For Community Standards. Burress, who has been married MULTIPLE times, felt that letting same sex persons marry would be bad for traditional marriage. Like I said, Phil has been through several wives himself so he is an authority figure on the sacred institution of a man/woman marriage.
Burress is also a bit of a political bully, and he has threatened elected officials - especially Republicans - not to cross him or his causes or he will unleash his scorn upon them. And for the most part, this new breed of republicans (lower case intended) sold their soul to
The other thing about Burress is that he refuses to let anyone examine his books or membership records, since he is shielded by the fucked up campaign finance laws in this great nation . So there is no way of knowing how many people really support him (or don't), or what he does with the money that CfCV rakes in and how it's spent.
So imagine the look on Burress' face when a group headed by former Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy (D) decided that now was the time to take Burress and his organization on, and do a number on the 2004 amendment.
Burress' reaction? To paraphrase him, Burress is on record as saying that Ohio voters have already spoken on this issue and there is no reason to revisit the same sex marriage. He also warned elected officials not to mess with this issue as it had been settled in 2004.
WELL, Mary Jo Kilroy is a really nice human, but she also does suffer fools gladly. She is CEO of Freedom to Marry Ohio, an upstart action committee that is pushing now in Ohio for marriage equality. The funny thing about Freedom to Marry Ohio is that it is doing this without the support of Equality Ohio, the organization that has been the front runner for things being "equal".
WELL, Equality Ohio said back in late winter that 2012-3 was not the time to push for marriage rights in Ohio so it wouldn't be getting involved and it would prefer if people just waited it out.
Why, again, you ask.
WELL, I think it has something to do with Equality Ohio's lead lobbyist being named as the new head of Ohio Republican Party. Matt Borges, who is now on "leave of absence" for Equality Ohio is the newly appointed head of the Ohio GOP. It would have been Borges who would have had to have thrown his muscle behind Kilroy's initiative by representing Equality Ohio in supporting the pending same-sex marriage fight. So NATURALLY, not wanting to piss off the Republican base (which includes Phil Burress), and really, really wanting this boffo new job with all the power it brings, Borges and EO decided that the fight should happen on another day.
See how things work?
Undeterred, Kilroy and FtMO, refused to pack it in, and instead moved forward with their ballot language petitions.
Now, on another blog - which I love and shall remain nameless - there was great consternation when Ohio Secretary of State Mike DeWine turned the petitions away because of muddled language issues. I used to work for Mike, and I know the man, and while he does not support same sex marriage personally, he also is a by the book kind of guy. And if there is one thing that Mike DeWine hates, its courtroom challenges. He hates laws that lead to courtroom challenges and he hates suits without merit or standing.
So when FtMO turned in a new set of petitions and clearer language, it cleared his office. Mike DeWine may not personally like Same Sex Marriage BUT the law was met, and forward it goes.
This is where Phil Burress and his minions (Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage, which is an "affiliate of CfCV) came in and sued Mike DeWine, Ohio's Attorney General, because the language was fuzzy and it will confuse Ohio voters.
Really? That's the best you can do?
Evidently the REPUBLICAN Ohio Supreme Court (only one Democrat) aren't afraid of Mr. Burress any longer either, and decided in a 7-2 with the Ohio Attorney General.
Take that Phil Burress, and SNAP.
So the fight continues and Burress by now should know that voting down this issue isn't going to be the slam dunk that it was in enacting it in 2004. But a majority of Americans now supports the idea of same sex marriage, and the percentage of Ohio residents favoring same sex marriage is now greater than the percentage of 2004 voters who were against it. FtMO expects the measure to move, on target, to the November 2013 ballot, and by then political pundits believe that a whopping 60% of Ohio votes could favor same sex marriages, and that would undo the Amendment born on our shoulders by Mr. Burress.
So I not only want to see this law over turned in my lifetime, but in Phil's lifetime as well. I want to see this have to live with same sex marriage for a very long time. I want to see him vexed when no one listens to him or heeds his warnings. And that day is coming.
So fuck you, Phil Burress. Fuck you, very much.