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ICYMI: LGBTQ+ Leader Jim Obergefell Discusses Sherrod’s Fight For Equality For All Ohioans

COLUMBUS, OH  – In honor of Pride Month, Ohioan Jim Obergefell, whose Supreme Court case legalized gay marriage in the United States, spoke with the Buckeye Flame about the launch of LGBTQ+ Ohioans for Sherrod, co-chaired by Obergefell and Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin, and Sherrod’s fight to ensure every Ohioan is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Read more:

The Buckeye Flame: Sherrod Brown launches LGBTQ+ coalition to support re-election campaign
Ken Schneck – June 10, 2024

  • Sen. Sherrod Brown does not mince words about what’s at stake in the November election for LGBTQ+ Ohioans.
  • “The values of human rights. The values around dignity. The values of respect for one another,” he said. “That’s all on the ballot.”
  • On Monday, the three-term senator announced the creation of “LGBTQ+ Ohioans for Sherrod,” a coalition co-chaired by Ohioan Jim Obergefell – whose Supreme Court case legalized gay marriage in the United States – and Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin, the first out LGBTQ+ individual to hold that position. 
  • “It’s important that we work in our communities with our families and our friends to educate them at what is at risk for our community in Sherrod’s election,” Obergefell said. “We really have to reelect the senator because the alternative is just too scary.”
  • Brown’s Republican opponent in November is Bernie Moreno, a former car dealership owner who has shifted his views over the past few years, becoming staunchly anti-LGBTQ+.
  • “Bernie Moreno’s willingness to attack LGBTQ+ Ohioans for political gain shows the depth of his extremism and the shallowness of his character,” said Geoff Wetrosky, vice president of National Campaigns at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
  • “LGBTQ+ Ohioans for Sherrod” aims to lift up the work Brown has done in partnership with Ohio’s LGBTQ+ community, ranging from his voting against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 to introducing the first-ever Senate Pride Month Resolution in June 2017. Brown has also helped lead the Equality Act, which would expand federal civil rights protections and fight LGBTQ discrimination in housing and the workplace. 
  • In 2015, Brown joined the amicus brief in support of marriage equality as the Supreme Court prepared to hear Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that would legalize gay marriage in the United States. Sherrod also helped pass the Respect for Marriage Act, which protects same-sex marriage. The bill was signed into law in 2022.
  • Still, Brown cautioned that one of the lessons he learned from another fight – the fight for reproductive freedom – is that no gain of rights is permanent. “I think we all thought every victory we have in gay rights, every victory we have in women’s rights, every victory we have in voting rights is permanent,” Brown said. “But as Coretta Scott King said, there’s a battle every generation.”