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July 27, 2012

Mandel vows to fight marriage equality in Senate

Cincinnati--Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, who is challenging Sen. Sherrod Brown for his seat in the United States Senate, told a crowd of Tea Party supporters on July 10 that he would “protect the sanctity of marriage” by opposing same-sex marriage.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Mandel said, “This is a fight I will never, ever back down.” He spoke in the Cincinnati suburb of Sharonville.

However, Mandel is now backing the other side of the argument from when he was a student at Ohio State University 12 years ago. At the time, as student president, he supported insurance that would cover students’ domestic partners.

“Students want it, students deserve it, and the university has a responsibility to provide it,” he said at the time.

The Washington Blade points out that Mandel’s positions changed when he started advancing a political career as a Republican.

Former Gov. Ted Strickland last year accused Mandel of being a flip-flopper and a political opportunist, noting that he was pro-choice, then changed to anti-choice, and was pro-gay, and now is not.

Mandel supports legislation banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat has been detected. His campaign, however, pointed out that he was never pro-choice.

However, nine years after supporting domestic partner insurance benefits at OSU, Mandel voted as a state lawmaker against the Ohio Equal Housing and Employment Act, which would bar discrimination by sexual orientation or gender identity.

Brown, a Democrat, has been a stable and left-leaning fixture on the political scene. In addition to supporting public employee labor unions and environmental issues, he is supportive of LGBT issues, both professionally and in his personal life with his wife, journalist Connie Schultz.

He has received a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign for his voting record, and recorded a video for the It Gets Better Project on the Senate floor in 2010.

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