Saturday, May 09, 2015

Ted Strickland: "The Times They Are A-Changin'"


Bob Dylan wrote "The Times They Are A-Changin'" in 1963 and it was the title track for his 1964 album release. The impact and influence of the song is probably unprecedented-- or at least was when I was growing up in the 1960s. Ohio Senate candidate and former Governor Ted Strickland is less than a decade older than I am but the '60s was still part of his growing to maturity era. he was studying history at Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky when Dylan was writing it and he received his Master of Divinity from the Asbury Theological Seminary in 1967, when Dylan and his music-- particularly "The Times They Are A-Changin'"-- were part of the public consciousness.

Thursday the song was on Strickland's mind when he spoke at the Union Cafe in Columbus to the Stonewall Democrats of Central Ohio. Strickland was a socially conservative Member of Congress for a term in 1993 and then again starting in 1997 for a decade. The NRA rated him an A and he could be counted among the Democrats who were still anti-Choice and tepid, at best, in support of gay equality. Along with the times, he's changed. And now he wants support from women's groups and Ohio's large LGBT community. When he ran for governor in 2006 he was endorsed by NRA and by the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Police Organizations, the Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, Ohio Trooper Coalition and by a great number of high profile Republicans. He beat GOP nut job Ken Blackwell 2,435,505 (60.54%) to 1,474,331 (36.65%) and then lost 4 years later to Republican John Kasich 1,889,186 (49.04%) to 1,812,059 (47.4%).
The HRC congressional scorecard examining votes on 5 pieces of legislation considered HRC-important, rated Strickland only 60 percent politically correct, because he missed the vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment (H.J.Res. 88), and evidently voted the wrong way on the Military Readiness Enhancement Act (H.R. 1059) to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” so as to allow LBGTs to serve openly in the military and on the Uniting American Families Act (H.R. 3006) that proposed to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide same-sex partners of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents the same immigration benefits legal spouses of U.S. residents enjoy.

The HRC scorecard gave perfect 100 percent ratings to only three Ohio congressmen in the 109th Congress... Dennis Kucinich, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, and Sherrod Brown (the Democratic Party candidate contesting Republican Senator Mike DeWine).
Strickland, who backed virulent anti-gay sociopath Jennifer Garrison for Congress in 2014, cited the Dylan lyrics in his speech yesterday, making a point that he anticipates the Supreme Court will rule this summer to legalize same-sex marriage by overturning bans in Ohio and a handful of other states.
“Let’s gather and celebrate when the Supreme Court finally says that in America, this prejudice has come to end, and we, all of us, have the right to marry the person we love regardless of their gender,” Strickland said.

Strickland, who narrowly lost re-election in 2010 to Republican John Kasich, faces a declared primary challenge for his party’s nomination next year from Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld.

The changing times, Strickland said, extend to his family. He talked of an unidentified relative, a Columbus-area teenager born a female, who recently revealed that he is transgender.

“After going through a lot of emotional trauma, he told his parents he was a boy and he knew he always had been a boy,” Strickland said.

Strickland said he is proud of how the teen’s parents and high-school classmates handled the revelation.

“The school responded so beautifully, his friends responded so wonderfully and so supportive ... the young people are going to lead us to a better and brighter day.”

...Ohio is likely to have the only 2016 Senate race pitting candidates from the two major parties who support same-sex marriage.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman changed his stance 14 months ago after son Will revealed he is gay.
Neither, though, has been a champion of the LGBT community and Portman still opposes most economic equality measures regarding jobs, housing, etc. The dynamic is further complicated by rumors started in right-wing circles that Strickland is-- or at least was-- a closet case.

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