Friday, May 23, 2008

Hey Equality Ohio, How You Feeling About That Goodman Endorsement Now?

Back in 2006, I questioned Equality Ohio's endorsement of David Goodman. They were good enough to respond:

...While we would all hope that more people from each of the parties would be supportive of LGBT Equality, Sen Goodman went above and beyond just voting against issue 1. On the day of the floor vote, Sen. Goodman took to the floor and implored his colleagues to vote against Issue 1. He reminded them of a history that now causes us to question how people could possibly have justified slavery, discrimination, sexism, religious intolerance and hatred. He warned the Senate that if they passed this measure in time they would be seen the same way. His remarks demonstrated true leadership, no matter what party he is from. The fact that he is a Republican makes it even more noteworthy, in not only did he stand up for us, he stood up to his friends to do it...

Fast Forward a year and a half, to this Dan Williamson piece on the anti-workplace discrimination bill SB 305 in The Other Paper:

...The good news for the bill is the committee’s chairman: David Goodman of New Albany, who happens to be the only Republican cosponsor of the effort in either chamber of the legislature.

But even as he reiterated his personal support this week, Goodman wouldn’t promise the bill will get as much as another hearing.

In theory, a chairman has the power to call a hearing or a vote on any bill before his committee. But that doesn’t mean he’ll use that power.

The unwritten Republican protocol is that a chairman should call a vote only if it has a majority of Republican senators in favor of it. Goodman and Stivers would, along with the three Democrats, give SB 305 a 5-4 majority on the committee. But among Republicans on the committee, the bill would still be looking at a 4-2 deficit...

Standing up to your friends is true leadership. Standing up to protocol when you hold the gavel... that's just crazy talk.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We at Equality Ohio continue to support Senator Goodman for his position on issues related to equality for all people regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. As the Chairman of the committee, and the sole R co-sponsor, it was only through his discussion and work with his party leadership that we were able to secure proponent and opponent testimony on the bill - for the first time ever. I was involved in what it took to make this happen and personally saw the effort Senator Goodman put into securing the hearing, for more than four weeks. It is actually one of the only Democratic sponsored bills that any Senate committee has given proponent and opponent testimony to this session.

For Senator Goodman to stand up to protocol and have additional hearings without the consent of the Senate leadership or the support of the majority of the majority on the committee, would quite likely lose him his chairmanship of the committee before an additional hearing could occur... which would then also very seriously jeopardize any possibility for future hearings in the fall or lame duck. This is not a risk we're willing to push him to take.

Regardless of the fact that Senator Goodman won't yet confirm additional hearings to the press, we certainly believe we'll be testifying more on this bill before the end of this legislative session in December - and we're confident Senator Goodman will do what it takes to make that happen, in the manner that assures it will happen.

- Lynne Bowman, ED, Equality Ohio