Ohio State House, HD-89
Born and raised in Sandusky, Ohio, I’m the youngest of six children in a blue-collar Catholic family. I taught high school German, then attended graduate school at Bowling Green State University. Then I fell in love, and John and I built a life together in Cincinnati. In our 20th year together, as he lay dying of ALS, I proposed marriage when the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. That proposal, followed by our wedding inside a medical jet in Maryland, led to our lawsuit against Ohio to demand recognition of our lawful marriage. That case – Obergefell v. Hodges – resulted in nationwide marriage equality in 2015.
I have no right as a gay man to ask to be treated equally under our laws and in our society if I’m not demanding the same thing for every marginalized group because I believe equality for one is meaningless without equality for all. Watching constant attacks on voting rights, civil rights, and our democracy, I decided it is time to run for office, to do the right thing for the people in my district and across Ohio. I know what it’s like to make a difference for others because I always do the right thing, no matter what. That’s why I fought for my marriage all the way to the Supreme Court, and it’s why I’m running for elected office. As representative, I will always do the right thing for house district 89 and people across Ohio.