cloudyn.png
Wednesday August 17th, 2022 10:44PM

Same-sex marriage plaintiff Obergefell runs for Ohio office

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — Jim Obergefell, whose landmark case before the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationally, is hoping he and fellow Democrats can make gains in the Ohio Statehouse this year with a message grounded in equality.

“It really just all comes down to: Can’t we all just get along and treat each other like human beings? Can’t we be decent people?" the celebrity plaintiff -turned-Ohio House candidate told the Democratic Women of Erie County on a recent summer evening. “And we all deserve to be part of ‘We the People.’"

Obergefell, 56, is unopposed in a primary Tuesday for a state legislative seat representing Ohio’s Lake Erie coast through Ottawa and Erie counties. He’s already looking toward a November faceoff against second-term Republican Rep. D.J. Swearingen, 36, a Sandusky attorney who has focused his campaign on “kitchen table” issues.

The race marks the first time that Obergefell has moved from activism into a political run for office. He's campaigning at a sensitive time for the LGBTQ rights movement after the U.S. Supreme Court in June repealed the constitutional right to abortion, raising fears that other rights may also fall away, including same-sex marriage.

With that in mind, the U.S. House overwhelmingly voted last month to approve legislation protecting same-sex and interracial marriages. The legislation is being considered in the Senate.

Obergefell became among the most visible figures in the marriage equality movement after he and his longtime partner, John Arthur, who was dying, flew to Maryland and were wed in a plane on a tarmac because the Cincinnati-area couple couldn't do so legally in Ohio. Arthur died a few months later, and Obergefell's fight to be listed as spouse on the death certificate led to his role in the landmark 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

In Ohio now, Obergefell's pitch for inclusion is running into a heated political environment. The primary election itself had to be split because of a contentious and protracted political mapmaking fight, with a federal panel of judges ultimately setting the date and imposing maps that a different court has declared unconstitutional. Legal battles continue.

GOP mapmakers redrew the 89th House District that Obergefell is seeking in the face of his candidacy, and the district now leans nearly 57% Republican, according to Dave’s Redistricting App, a political mapmaking website. That should favor Swearingen in a state that former President Donald Trump twice won by wide margins and where Republicans control every branch of government.

Obergefell appears to remain a threat, however. He is the best-known state legislative candidate on Ohio’s 2022 ballot and among its top legislative fundraisers so far, having outraised Swearingen more than 4 to 1, according to campaign finance reports.

That’s in part because his popularity as a civil rights icon has drawn support from a host of deep-pocketed national progressive groups — including the LGBTQ Victory Fund, the Human Rights Campaign and Democracy for America — as well as in-state donors.

Obergefell said he believes his party can reach moderate Republicans and independents with their message of inclusiveness if voters “see the Democratic Party being obvious, being clear, being direct on what they believe in and what they will fight to protect and support.”

But Swearingen said district voters he’s spoken to are not focused on social issues, but on pocketbook ones.

“What I continue to hear from people is gas, groceries, feeding their families — very kitchen table issues that are very relevant and important to them. They’re immediately in front of them,” he said. “The social issues do not appear to be very high on the list.”

That’s not the case for Darlene Walk, a Sandusky native and vice president of the Democratic Women of Erie County. She said she plans to vote for Obergefell and is encouraging friends of all partisan persuasions to do the same.

“We’re ready for a change, and you have to accept people as they are, where they are and what they do and what they stand for,” she said. “And he stands for progress.”

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Same-sex marriage plaintiff Obergefell runs for Ohio office
Jim Obergefell is hoping that Democrats can win back seats at the Ohio Statehouse and beyond this fall with a message grounded in his landmark U.S. Supreme Court fight for same-sex marriage
8:23AM ( 46 minutes ago )
Progress made in fight against California fire that killed 2
Rainy and cloudy weather has helped firefighters battling a wildfire in Northern California that killed at least two people and burned 100 homes and other buildings
7:43AM ( 1 hour ago )
EXPLAINER: Is Alex Jones’ trial about free speech rights?
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones arrived at the start of his Texas defamation trial for calling the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School attack a hoax with the words “Save the 1st” scrawled on tape covering his mouth
6:41AM ( 2 hours ago )
U.S. News
Family asks UK's top court to intervene in life support case
Britain’s Supreme Court says it has received an appeal from the family of a brain-damaged 12-year-old boy whose life support treatment had been due to end on Tuesday
8:49AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Mo Ostin, longtime Warner records chairman, dies at 95
Mo Ostin, a self-effacing giant of the music business who with rare integrity presided over Warner Bros
8:31AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Markets dip as Pelosi's Asia trip puts markets on edge
Wall Street was poised to open with losses, following global markets lower as a possible visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan prompted threats from Beijing
8:24AM ( 45 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Biden: Killing of al-Qaida leader is long-sought 'justice'
President Joe Biden has announced that al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Kabul
7:56AM ( 1 hour ago )
Brittney Griner back in Russian court on cannabis charge
American basketball star Brittney Griner is back in court for her trial for cannabis possession amid U.S. diplomatic efforts to secure her release
7:21AM ( 1 hour ago )
Taliban under scrutiny as US kills al-Qaida leader in Kabul
The U.S. drone strike that killed al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri is intensifying global scrutiny of Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers
7:00AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Kansas first state to vote on abortion since Roe’s demise
Kansas is having the first test of voters’ feelings since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade
11:42PM ( 9 hours ago )
2 found dead in charred car within California wildfire zone
At least two people have died from a raging California blaze that's one of several menacing thousands of homes Monday in the Western U.S. The Siskyou County Sheriff's Office says two bodies were found inside a charred vehicle Sunday in a driveway of a home near the remote community of Klamath River in Northern California
11:08PM ( 10 hours ago )
California governor declares monkeypox state of emergency
California’s governor has declared a state of emergency to speed efforts to combat the monkeypox outbreak
10:58PM ( 10 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Pompeo to headline fundraiser in early-voting South Carolina
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is headlining a major gathering of Republicans in South Carolina as he considers a 2024 White House bid
6:47AM ( 2 hours ago )
Latest primaries feature deniers for state election posts
Republican primary voters in Arizona and Kansas are deciding whether to elevate loyalists to former President Donald Trump who support his false claims that he won the 2020 election and send them to the general election
5:46AM ( 3 hours ago )
Arizona House speaker who rejected Trump pleas faces voters
Arizona's Republican House speaker is facing the anger of supporters of former President Donald Trump after he rejected pleas to help overturn the 2020 election results and testified before Congress about the efforts
12:05AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
NLRB dismisses Starbucks charge against union organizers
The National Labor Relations Board has dismissed a charge Starbucks filed against union organizers in Phoenix
7:44PM ( 13 hours ago )
Democrat Sinema's views on economic bill remain shrouded
Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's views remained a mystery as party leaders eye votes later this week on their emerging economic legislation
7:19PM ( 13 hours ago )
Dems allege cover-up on Secret Service texts, demand records
Top congressional Democrats have requested sit-down interviews and internal documents from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general
7:15PM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Senegal's ruling coalition claims win but opposition rejects
Senegal’s ruling coalition says it has won 30 of 46 departments in Sunday’s legislative election, giving it a majority over the opposition
9:24AM ( 23 hours ago )
Italians ask if immigrant's slaying could have been stopped
Italians are debating whether a Nigerian street vendor could have been saved from a fatal attack by an enraged Italian man that played out in public as bystanders watched
5:50PM ( 1 day ago )
Senegal's legislative election tests ruling party influence
Senegal is holding a legislative election
3:35PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections
Fetterman harnesses power of social media in Senate campaign
In one of this year’s most competitive U.S. Senate races, the biggest moments aren't playing out on the campaign trail
12:23AM ( 3 days ago )
Missouri GOP contenders distance themselves from McConnell
As the U.S. Senate primary campaign nears its end in Missouri, all three of the leading Republican candidates are making it clear that if elected, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell won't have their support
4:31PM ( 3 days ago )
Abortion access finds a place even in down-ballot campaigns
Some Democratic candidates in statewide down-ballot races have decided to make abortion access key to their campaigns
11:06PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Progress made in fight against California fire that killed 2
Rainy and cloudy weather has helped firefighters battling a wildfire in Northern California that killed at least two people and burned 100 homes and other buildings
7:43AM ( 1 hour ago )
EXPLAINER: Is Alex Jones’ trial about free speech rights?
Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones arrived at the start of his Texas defamation trial for calling the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School attack a hoax with the words “Save the 1st” scrawled on tape covering his mouth
6:41AM ( 2 hours ago )
EXPLAINER: How health care for vets became fight in Congress
A bill that enhances health care and disability benefits for millions of veterans exposed to toxic burn pits has hit a snag in the Senate
6:05AM ( 3 hours ago )
House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump face primaries
Three Republican U.S. House members who voted to impeach Donald Trump over the Jan. 6 insurrection are being challenged in Tuesday’s primary elections by rivals endorsed by the former president
5:17AM ( 3 hours ago )
Frustrating recovery could be hurricane harbinger for South
The continuing recovery from a small tornado that hit a poor Southern community shows how hard it may be to get over a big storm as the heart of hurricane season approaches the U.S. Gulf Coast
2:44AM ( 6 hours ago )