· Ohio's largest LGBT rights group has demanded an apology from Republican gubernatorial candidate J. Kenneth Blackwell after he compared gays to arsonists and kleptomaniacs. The religious conservative and current secretary of state made the comments in a Sunday interview with The Columbus Dispatch.
Blackwell—this election year's second black gubernatorial candidate running as a Republican—was asked if homosexuality is a sin and can be cured. Blackwell said, "I think homosexuality is a lifestyle, it's a choice, and that lifestyle can be changed. I think it's a transgression against God's law, God's will. The reality is again ... that we make choices all the time. And, I think you make good choices and bad choices in terms of lifestyle. Our expectation is that one's genetic makeup might make one more inclined to be an arsonist, or may make one more inclined to be a kleptomaniac. Do I think that can be changed? Yes."
· It's no coincidence that Blackwell's vicious anti-gay comments were made on the same day the results of a devastating new poll were released. Democrat Ted Strickland leads Blackwell by 20 percentage points.
· Meanwhile, the Ohio Republican Party is attacking Strickland with gay innuendo. The Toledo Blade reports the state party's newly hired "social conservative coordinator" e-mailed voters and conservative activists talking points on Strickland, a southeast Ohio congressman and ordained Methodist minister. "It alleged Mr. Strickland and his wife of nearly 20 years live in different states - and linked to an Internet posting that questions whether Mr. Strickland is gay."
Finally, at least some good news for gays in Ohio. Almost half of the 10 largest employers in Cincinnati area offer domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples. A new report says major employers such as Procter & Gamble, Health Alliance, Toyota and Ashland offer benefits to gay employees. Unfortunately, several public universities in Ohio and Kentucky have been criticized for doing the same.