Ohio's leading U.S. Senate candidates
support gay marriage.
Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer
Brunner and Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher are vying for the Senate
seat now held by Republican George Voinovich, who is retiring. A May
4 Democratic primary will decide who'll battle Republican Rob Portman
Brunner is a long-time supporter of
granting gay and lesbian couples the right to marry, but Fisher only
recently came on board, gay weekly the Gay
People's Chronicle reported.
Fisher was asked to comment on the
issue at a recent Cleveland City Club forum.
“Mr. Fisher, you say you're in favor
of marriage equality. How does that differ from being supportive of
same-sex marriage?” Karen Kasler of Ohio Public Radio asked.
“I believe it's the same thing,”
“I believe that the federal
government has no business telling two people who are in a committed
relationship and want to take responsibility for them the rest of
their life that they can't marry. It's wrong,” he added.
The 58-year-old Fisher has previously
endorsed recognizing gay couples with civil unions. In 2009, he said
he had “questions about marriage.”
Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved a
gay marriage ban in 2004.
Sherrod Brown, Ohio's junior senator,
opposed amending the Ohio constitution to ban gay marriage. While
serving in the House, Brown voted against the Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA), the 1996 law that defines marriage as a heterosexual union
for federal agencies and allows states to ignore legal gay marriages
performed outside their borders.
Both Fisher and Brunner are leading in
polls over their Republican rival, Portman, but a majority of voters
say they remain undecided.