Episode 63: Guess What Happens When Christian Nationalists Write A Reproductive Rights Amendment?
We talk about our recent experience at the Maumee Summer Fair. We don’t have a lot of money for advertising and instead rely on setting up booths at festivals. The layout was different this year due to street construction. Despite this, we were able to meet new people and reconnect with some former group members. A new addition to the booth, a wheel with humanist values that people can spin for the chance to win a prize, helped educate people about Humanism and was a great activity for kids who visited.
Next we looked at the farce that was the Ohio Ballot Board on August 24th. Secretary of State, and US Senate candidate, Frank LaRose, who chairs the Ballot Board, is responsible for the ballot language for a proposed constitutional amendment called the ‘Right to reproductive freedom with protections for health and safety’. LaRose’s office created a draft of the language, ignoring the draft submitted by the coalition supporting the amendment. Senator Paula Hicks Hudson attempted to substitute LaRose’s draft with the coalition’s, but it was voted down. LaRose also changed the language so it dismisses Trans individuals. This was an effort trying to gaslight voters by using inflammatory and manipulative language in the summary that appears on the official ballot.
State Senator Theresa Gaverone violated the rules of the committee by arguing the merits of the amendment using false and inflammatory language. Senator Gaverone’s statement, which was full of lies and fabrications, leaves out the fact that the current onerous regulations imposed on abortion clinics would be removed and that late-term abortions are rare and typically occur due to health complications. It’s clear that some people are using manipulative tactics to prevent the abortion rights amendment from passing, but we’ll see what happens in November.
00:56 Maumee Summer Fair Recap
15:04 Guess What Happens When Christian Nationalists Write A Reproductive Rights Amendment?
The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety (The summary the ballot board should have adopted)
Ohio Ballot Board 8-24-2023 (full video of the hearing)
Click Here to Read Full Transcript
[0:00] This is Glass City Humanist, a show about humanism, humanist values, by a humanist. Here is your host, Douglas Berger. In this episode, we mention how much fun we had at the recent Maumee Summer Fair. Then we talk about how Christian nationalists like State Senator Theresa Gavirone violated state rules to hijack the upcoming Reproductive Rights Amendment vote in order to lie about what it actually does for pregnant individuals in the state. Glass City Humanist is an outreach project of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie, building community through compassion and reason for a better tomorrow.
[0:56] One of the downsides of being a small group like Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie is we don’t have a lot of money. We can’t advertise like some churches that I shall not name that are able to do either advertisements or have subsidized sermons on TV or billboards and that sort of thing. We don’t have the money for that. So one of the ways that we advertise the group is that we spend money on booths, booth space at festivals. I think I already had mentioned that we were at the old West End Festival in June. And in August we usually, we used to have two, we decided to set one of them out because It was just a lot of work to load in and get it set up.
[2:00] We were at the Maumee Summer Fair.
[2:03] And that was the weekend of August the 12th. And I like going to the Summer Fair because it’s kind of laid back. The layout that they’ve had for years was, you know, we’d be on the street and have a lot of foot traffic. Well, this year was different. Because of all of the street construction that’s been going on in Maumee the last couple of years, really. Because they had quite a bit last year as well. It kept them from having the same layout that they normally have. So this year, they had the main part of the festival where the main, most of the booths were located was on Conant Street. They had Conant Street blocked off.
[2:51] Then they had a group of booths in a parking lot next to the municipal building. And then another parking lot next to the police department. that’s where we were located. In fact, we were in the far back corner of the parking lot number two is what it was called and we were next to a porta-potty and so we didn’t get a lot of foot traffic this year. We didn’t get as much as we had hoped. We met some people, ran into some people that had been involved with our group a couple of years ago before the pandemic. They stopped by and said hello, so that was great. But we were at the end of the line. I like to try to get a little paranoid and think that that was because of who we were, because they had quite a few churches that were on Conant Street, and we were stuck in the parking lot and so was the Aggie Fund, which is the the group that raises money for to pay for abortions for low-income people. They were also in Parking Lot 2. They weren’t next to the Port-A-Potty like we were, which I kind of like.
[4:16] Was happy about initially, because I was thinking, well, there’d be a lot of foot traffic to the to the porta potty. Anyway, so we set up our table. It was a beautiful day, not too hot. The sun was very hot, and we were on pavement, so it just made it worse, tended to make it worse.
[4:36] The bane of our existence, though, is the wind. We still, every year, we’re like, man, we’re going gonna do something. We’re gonna work it out so the wind doesn’t blow stuff over, like it does. And every year we get stuff blown over by the wind. Not the, tent. We have a pop-up tent because we’ve been at the Pride Festival before and they have stringent requirements for weighing down your legs of your tent. So we did quite a bit of that. So we had that all taken care of. But it was like the paper, you know, a lot of the stuff that we give out is paper, paper-based brochures and bookmarks and things like that. And those things tend to blow around. And you want to weight them down so they don’t blow around, but you want people to be able to access them and be able to see them. And so, I mean, we’ve invested in like a brochure stand that’s kind of multi-level. You can put different brochures because we have several different versions of brochures from the AHA and we do that and then we have buttons and that kind of lay on the table okay but the paper stuff tends to blow around and so one of the things that we did this year is we’ve had we had a.
[6:04] A wheel, well I call it a wheel of death, it’s not the wheel of death. But the American Humanist Association promotes this humanist value brand, it’s called the Ten Commitments. I don’t agree with that, calling it that, because it’s too close to Ten Commandments, but I get what they’re doing. So I’ve always said I really don’t like the name Ten Commitments. But anyway, so we have that, humanist values, and it comes in like a wheel format on a poster. And I got the idea of taking that wheel design and putting it on a wheel for people to spin.
[6:48] And so, you know, we’d have topics like empathy, critical thinking, altruism, humility, environmentalism, global awareness, service and participation, peace and social justice, ethical development, responsibility. And people would spin on that and it would land on one of these 10 commitments. And I initially had a big long thing that we were gonna do and we were gonna talk about it, but it just got to be because we debuted this wheel, this Ten Commitment Wheel, at the Old West End Festival. And it just got to be too much, too many people. And so we just, basically what it was, you spin the wheel, it lands on something, you win a prize.
[7:43] And we had these cheap party favors that we got through Amazon. And you just spin the wheel and get a prize. Now, the whole point of it is, yes, we did want to teach some humanist values. We want to teach about humanism. That’s the whole point. And we want people to be exposed to that. So they’ll say the Ten Commitments and, oh, responsibility. Oh, that’s OK. I get that. So, you know, it gets it in people’s minds to equate humanist values with maybe values that they have themselves. Because a lot of times, humanists, we identify or label ourselves. You know, I was that way when I became a humanist, and I met a humanist, and he told me what humanism was about, and I read up on it, and I was like, you know, I’ve been thinking this way for many years. I’ve been a humanist. And so that’s basically what we wanted to do.
[8:42] And we also wanted to give something for kids to do, too. And it was so great because a lot of the times we’d have these younger people come up to spin the wheel, and it would land on, like, altruism. And a lot of times the parents would say, hey, Timmy or Janie or whatever their name was, whatever the kid’s name was, do you know what altruism is? Sometimes they would know it and sometimes they wouldn’t. And if they did, the parent would say, well what does it mean? Or we would say, what does it mean? And they would say, or the parents, you know, if the kid didn’t know what it meant, then the kid, then the parent would briefly summarize it. It was something that we had planned for this thing anyway, was to, you know, for people that, if they didn’t know what these particular values were, that we would explain it. And so it’s so great to see, more often than not, the parents did that.
[9:40] They really took the opportunity, it’s the summer vacation, it’s shortly before school starts back up, taking the opportunity to get their kid thinking again, getting the wheels in the brain turning, getting them greased up, getting them warmed up for the school year. So that was a lot of fun. We did a lot of that and so I’m really happy with how the prize wheel turned out. We have 10 commitments but I think there’s like 15 slots on the wheel. So we filled up the extra spots for a free spin. There was one about Sholi stats where we would, say, well, there’s 26 people in our group, you know, things like that. And then there was Toledo humanists. And and we take the opportunity to tell people about humanists, that are from or have been from the Toledo area, like Gloria Steinem.
[10:42] Madeline Murray O’Hare, who founded American Atheists, and Edward Lamb, who was a lawyer, who defended some of the strikers during the auto light strike in the 30s. And he owned some TV and newspaper properties and took the FCC to court because they tried to deny his license, calling him a communist, and he won in the Supreme Court. And so he lived in Maumee, and he hosted a get-together for Martin Luther King Jr. when he came to Toledo in 1967. So, you know, it’s great to be able to tell people about Toledo humanists.
[11:24] So, we do that in this booth. Now, of course, we do occasionally get, it’s not been a problem, but occasionally we’ll get somebody who is not a fan of humanists, or they don’t know what humanism is, and when they find out, then they kind of roll their eyes and they walk away. And we had this one woman who said, oh, I’ve never heard of humanists, what are you? What do you do? And when we say, you know, we’re a group that’s looking to improve community for a better tomorrow without relying on God, they kind of just kind of go, Oh, and they roll their eyes and then they walk away. I know when I, when I worked at, when I was with my group in Columbus, or we usually would have a booth at ComFest in Goodale Park, and every once in a while we would get one of these evangelicals that would come by and try to debate us.
[12:27] So that’s always something to watch out for, but we’ve been pretty good here in Toledo with our booths. We usually don’t get somebody that’s wanting to waste our time trying to debate the existence of God or how great their religion is. So we all have a fun time at these doing these booths and and I Look to see that as our group grows and we get more people and I get it. Some people are.
[12:59] Shy Maybe they’re not Knowledgeable enough or feel they’re not knowledgeable enough. And so they don’t want to talk to other people in, In a public space like that, maybe maybe they’re trying to hide the fact that they’re humanist and that’s fine I you know, I don’t force people to to work the booth. Usually it’s just it’s been really just three of us It’s been Sean myself and in our board member Ed.
[13:27] We’ve we’ve had most of most of the work on these booths but we did at We did, at the Summer Fair, we had one of our members help out, which was great, Tim.
[13:42] And he also helped out in June at the old West End Festival, along with another person, a woman who wasn’t even a member, but had come to a couple of meetings, and she eventually became a member because she had a good time working the booth.
[13:57] So what we’ve been thinking about is having another booth at the Old West End Autumn Festival, which is usually held at the Agnes Reynolds Jackson Arboretum, which is kind of ironic, is because Agnes Reynolds Jackson was the impetus for creating the Aggie Fund to support abortion rights and to pay for abortions. And so if you do attend these festivals, check out our webpage, check out our web page, humanistwle.org. Usually it’s on there that we tell people where we’re going to be at. And if you see a booth, just stop by and say hello. We’ll chat with you for a few minutes. Always happy to do that. And if you have any questions about humanism, feel free to ask. And that’s what we’re, there for.
[14:48]For more information about the topics in this episode, including links used, please visit the episode page at GlassCityHumanist.show.
[15:04] There is going to be a reproductive rights amendment on the November ballot this year. Even after the anti-abortionists in the Ohio legislature and in the state tried to several times to try to keep it off the ballot, it is going to be on the ballot. They turned in over 700,000 signatures, and they only needed about four and a half, about 450,000, so they wanted to make sure that it got put on the ballot. Now the next step after it’s officially declared on the ballot and the signatures are valid, they have to come before the what’s called the Ohio ballot board. And their job, their sole job, is to come up with a summary of the proposed amendment, that appears in the voting booth when you go to vote on this amendment.
[15:59] A lot of times that these amendments and changes are multiple pages, some can be like five or six pages, and people aren’t going to read all that, so they just want a basic summary on the ballot that they can use to decide if they want to vote. You know, to make sure that they’re voting correctly for the one that they want to vote for. And the Ohio ballot board is made up of five individuals, three Republicans and two Democrats. Four of those people are in the legislature, well, three of them are in the legislature. And it’s chaired by the Secretary of State who has a vote in these proceedings. And also, I guess there’s a regular person, a civilian that’s been appointed. I’m not sure. I’m not sure the cast list, as it were, of the ballot board.
[17:01] And so what I wanted to do today is I wanted to play a clip from the Ohio ballot board on August the 24th when they are considering the ballot language for the Reproductive Rights Amendment, And, according to this meeting, that is going to be called State Issue 1. There was also another ballot issue that they were working on today, at that meeting, which was to legalize recreational marijuana use. And so that’s going to be State Issue 2. But this meeting was 27 minutes long according to the Ohio Channel. And they’re the ones that record all the committee hearings and legislative events and things like that. You should check that out. You know, Google it or duck goose or whatever you do with it. And find the Ohio Channel and they have archives of videos like this one that I’m going to share. And so I want to point some things out.
[18:09] The first thing I want to point out is that Frank LaRose, the Secretary of State, is against this amendment. He’s been campaigning against this amendment since it was started, since the petition process started. He tried to change the rules with another state issue one that was just voted on in August, that would have changed the rules and required 60% approval for any amendments. He tried to do that.
[18:39] And he went around the state campaigning again to pass that state issue and it failed by 14 points, because not only would that raise the threshold to 60%, it would have required signatures from from all 88 counties. And so a lot of grassroots people, even religious groups that want to institute their Bible views into law would have a tough time getting an amendment put on the ballot. And he was adamant that this was about abortion, that that state issue was about abortion. So he is not a fan of this amendment coming up.
[19:22] So, he has done everything he can, and he’s running for U.S. Senate. So there’s a conflict of interest, and he’s trying to get former President Donald Trump’s endorsement. Like, that’s going to matter. I don’t know. But, anyway, so just coming into this, just realize he is not a fan of this amendment. The other thing too, note how many times or how often he reminds people in this committee that they are there just to decide the summary language. They are not there to debate it. By the time it gets to this point, when it gets to this point, it’s not open for debate. It’s gonna be on the ballot. What they are working on is trying to come up with a clear, fair, concise summary of the amendment. The other thing to also consider too is that when petition people make it this far, they are allowed to turn in a draft of the summary that they think should be on the ballot. And that’s what the coalition that supports this reproductive rights amendment did. And you can find out as we play this clip. But anyway, so this was the August 24th, 2023 meeting of the Ohio ballot board.
[20:47] Also, I’d like to remind everyone, of course, that the purpose of our work here today is, not to debate the merits of these proposals. I recognize that a lot of Ohioans have strong feelings on both sides of both of these issues, but we’re not here to debate the merits of these proposals. Our purpose is simply to prescribe and adopt the ballot language. Then of course to approve the methods for disseminating this information as the law requires. At this time I’ll ask the Secretary of the Ballot Board to discuss the Ballot Board’s role today regarding the adoption of ballot language for these two issues. Josh, go ahead. The Ohio Constitution and the Ohio Revised Code require the Ballot Board to draft ballot language for statewide issues that will appear on the ballot. The ballot language must properly identify the substance of the proposal to be voted, on. contain the full text or a condensed version of the proposal. If a condensed version of the proposal is used, the ballot language must not omit substance of the proposal that is material. Additionally, if the proposed amendment is condensed, the resulting language must not result in or imply persuasive argument. The ballot language must be agreed to by a majority of board members.
[21:55] And I’ll remind everyone again that we’re not here to debate the merits of the proposals, Our purpose is only to prescribe the adopted ballot language.
[22:02] Okay, and so you saw there that he did He explained once again That they are not there to debate the merits of the amendment and even had his flunky, Who’s acting as secretary for the committee meeting to read a pair, you know the the official, purpose of the group which says not to debate the issue. And I also want to point out, too, that they’re taught about that the language in the ballot summary should be clear, concise, shouldn’t leave anything out, and that it should be neutral. That means it’s not meant to persuade or dissuade somebody from voting on it. It’s just supposed to be a neutral look at the summary. It’s supposed to just say, this is what’s in this amendment blah blah blah blah blah that’s it okay so keep that in mind and, so after he reads that then let’s see what happens language for issue one we, will now address the ballot language for issue one which is of course a proposed constitutional amendment entitled the right to reproductive freedom with protections for health and safety to prepare for today’s meeting our staff prepared draft language the members received copies of the draft language yesterday before the meeting, and the draft is also included in the board members’ binders, and it is available for the public at the front table.
[23:24] At this time, we will begin the public comment period. If anyone signed in wishes to address the ballot board regarding ballot language for Issue 1, I’ll ask you to identify yourself and the organization you represent. Josh, is there anyone here to testify to the ballot language for Issue 1? No one signed in.
[23:38] All right. Seeing no witnesses, is there anyone else that wishes to testify regarding the ballot language for Issue 1? All right. Seeing no one else, at this time we will end. He should be shocked that there’s nobody there to talk about the draft language that his office created now. It’s actually not usual for them to create their own draft. What happens is the petitioners are expected to submit a draft of the the summary that they want to have in the voting booth.
[24:22] They submit that to the Secretary of State’s office. That’s where they start. They start with that draft, okay? And they had to turn this in by August the 21st, three days before this meeting. So then the day before the meeting, He substitutes a draft that his office worked on. They totally ignored the draft that the coalition turned in. And then he’s shocked that there’s nobody there to talk about it. You know, and if the coalition had known that he was going to screw with their summary and not accept it, they probably would have had somebody there. Luckily, we have two members that support the amendment, the amendment, but they want to see the amendment, you know, be treated fairly. We have Senator Paula Hicks Hudson from the Toledo area and another gentleman, another Democrat from the Ohio House, who tried to substitute the draft that the coalition turned in with what was available, and that was voted down. So that’s the part that I cut out, I cut out her talking about it, because she wanted to completely substitute that draft for the draft that Frank LaRose came up with.
[25:46] And if you had a chance to look at the news, you could see why people were complaining about it. The word fetus was changed to unborn child. Making reproductive decisions was changed to medical treatment. And the other one, the other egregious one, was that they changed a pregnant individual to pregnant woman.
[26:18] So they tried to get a twofer. Not only did they try to screw with the abortion amendment, but they tried to dismiss trans people, because trans men also get pregnant. And I got to hand it to the coalition that supported the amendment. They wrote their petition to be as inclusive as possible. And I applaud them for that. And Frank LaRose, the anti-abortionists like LaRose and Teresa Gavirone come in and just screw the whole thing up. They just sabotage it. And it’s not the first time. He tried to change the rules. LaRose tried to change the rules to 60% threshold to get passed, and that was voted down. There’s been a couple of lawsuits that were filed against this petition, And so now they’re trying to mess with the summary and and basically what the Republicans are trying to do the anti-abortionists are trying to do.
[27:15] Is they’re trying to gaslight the voter. They’re trying, they’re assuming that people signed the petition to get this on the ballot not knowing what it was that they were signing. And so they’re trying to use inflammatory and manipulative language to gaslight the voter, thinking that the voter doesn’t know. They think you’re stupid. They think that the voter is stupid. And so they’re trying to craft this summary to their own best interest and trying to be persuasive, even though they’re not supposed to. That’s what they’re trying to do. And that’s what that’s what these Christian nationalists do all the time is they twist and manipulate and gaslight people all the time. So it’s not a shock, but and you can tell he is not shocked that there’s nobody there to talk about it. So I cut the part with Senator Hicks Hudson talking about it. And because then they voted on her amendment and it was voted down. Now there is currently no.
[28:19] Um there is no motion on the floor uh you know I’ve I’ve worked with groups before we used Robert’s Rules of Order um you got to have a motion on the floor and it gets seconded and then you invite discussion and so he’s inviting discussion now and you’ll find out why shortly.
[28:39] We’ll move on to board member discussion. Any discussion from the board members regarding the ballot language?
[28:46] Further discussion? Senator Gavarone, I believe you had something.
[28:50] Thank you, Mr. Secretary. The language of this amendment is written very broadly, and that’s no mistake on the part of the drafters. This summary accurately reflects that really broad language of the amendment, and that’s That’s what we’re tasked with here today. No one should be fooled by the clever writing of this proposed amendment. It’s designed to be broad. So broad that, should it pass, it is unequivocally true that access to painful, late-term abortions will be written into Ohio’s Constitution. This amendment is a bridge too far, even for pro-choice women. Should this be inserted into our founding document, Ohio’s citizens will allow an abortionist, a person who profits from performing an abortion to be the sole determiner if the quote-unquote health of the mother is at risk. Health of the mother has been defined by the U.S. Supreme Court in Doe v. Bolton to include all factors, physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age relevant to the well-being of the mother. If the abortionist says the health of the mother is at risk, even if there is scant evidence to support that medical determination than fully healthy, viable babies at 7, 8, and even 9 months can and absolutely will be aborted.
[30:12] And all of that’s before we get to the elimination of the basic health and safety standards that, the General Assembly has implemented over many decades, such as requiring that abortions be performed in person by a licensed doctor who has the ability to transfer a woman to a hospital if something goes wrong with the abortion. And also the assault on parental rights that this proposed amendment includes. Join a boarder.
[30:37] I’m gonna let Senator Gavirone finish her statement. If you got something to say afterwards, then you can say that.
[30:41] So Senator Gavirone had been speaking for at least two minutes, more than two minutes, before Senator Paula Hicks Hudson raised the point of order. If it had been me running the meeting, I would have cut off Senator Gavirone after the first couple of paragraphs, her first couple of sentences, with a point of order. Because she violated the rules of the committee. They were not there to debate the issue. Not to mention the fact that everything that she said up to the point of point of order and afterwards during her whole little speech are lies, complete and utter fabrications of what this amendment does. You know, she talks about a doctor requiring doctors to perform abortions as if this is gonna do away with that, and that’s not the case. the doctor will still be required to do abortions. That’s why people were liking to have Roe v. Wade making abortions legal, because then you could have doctors perform them instead of people in the alley with coat hangers or women using coat hangers and performing it on themselves.
[31:52] The other thing Gavron talks about are what are called the trap laws, the targeted regulations. During the Kasich administration, they passed so many, it was like 20, 25 targeted regulations to abortion clinics that forced many clinics to close. She talks about transferring women to a hospital. It wasn’t that simple. They didn’t make it that simple. What they did was they required that the doctor performing the abortion have admitting privileges at a hospital that she could be transferred to. But on the other hand too, any hospital that received state funding was not allowed to to enter into transfer agreements. So, like our local clinic here in Toledo, they had to contract with the University of Michigan’s hospital in Ann Arbor, because Michigan did not have that onerous regulation. And so, what did the anti-abortionists do? They came back with, well, it had to be within 30 miles of the clinic.
[32:58] So luckily, there was a swell of grassroots support for the clinic here in Toledo, and And they were able to convince ProMedica to enter into an agreement. So that took care of that, at least for Toledo’s clinic. So those are the kinds of rules and regulating how wide the hallways can be and saying that it had to be a medical facility. It couldn’t be like an old Burger King turned into a clinic or things like that. Claim it’s for the health and safety of the woman. No, it wasn’t. It was to make these regulations so onerous that since they couldn’t ban abortion outright at the time, that it was, going to force these clinics to close. Because a lot of these clinics are non-profits and they run on donations and grants and things like that. Because they provide services to the poor and do charity cases. Because I’m telling you, people that have money, they’re not getting abortions at clinics. They’re getting abortions in the hospitals.
[34:05] You know, they don’t talk about that, but that’s that’s where a lot of these abortions take place is in the hospitals. And the other thing, too, is she’s going to talk about late term abortion, painful, late term, seven, eight, nine months. It rarely happens. It’s like one percent of all abortions happen that way. And usually it’s because it’s because of the health of the mother, safety and health of the mother. Like the pregnancy goes wrong. It happens. And they have to terminate the pregnancy. It isn’t like some woman was like, I’m going on a cruise next week, I can’t have this baby. That’s gaslighting, they’re gaslighting you. It’s fear-mongering.
[34:45] And so Gaviron is lying, completely lying. And I like Senator Paula Hicks-Hudson, but I would have been raising a point of order with everything that she said. But I do appreciate that Senator Hicks-Hudson is there. And so, after Gaviron talks, he’s gonna have Paula Hicks-Sutton’s talks. And what she does, unlike Gaviron, is she doesn’t say, you know, we need to support this amendment and this is why. She saves that for when there’s a motion on the floor. But what she does is she tries then, since she couldn’t get the draft substituted, she goes in and tries to amend it to change some of the wording. And we’ll see how that goes. So let’s move on. The truth about this dangerous proposed amendment is hidden behind overly broad language. As a woman and a mother, I consider it an abomination that we’re even talking about amending our Constitution to allow for painful late-term abortions an abomination. This is a dangerous amendment that I’m going to fight tirelessly to defeat. But that’s not why we’re here today. We’re here to create ballot language that accurately describes the proposed amendment as written.
[36:02] Wish the language would have been more specific to the voters as to what this proposed amendment actually means and the disastrous Consequences on women and families as I’ve been urging up through today, But I am thankful to have played a part in setting the record straight And I’m proud to help deliver the truth to Ohioans about this dangerous proposal.
[36:24] Thank You senator Gavirone and well I agree with your words I will remind everyone we’re not here to debate the the merits of this I do know that there are strong feelings here and I would offer the opportunity to Senator Hicks-Hudson because I believe you have something to say as well. I appreciate that, Mr. Secretary, and I am appalled that we are—and then under the third bullet point, prohibit the state of Ohio, not the citizens, but the state of Ohio from directly or indirectly burdening, penalizing, and I would also add discriminating or prohibiting abortions. And under the fifth, again, remove the word the citizens and have only allow the state of Ohio. And then lastly, to remove the, as always allow an unborn fetus, we put that in as opposed to an unborn child to be aborted. Thank you, Senator. Further discussion? Josh, please call the roll as has been moved by Senator Hicks-Hudson and seconded by Representative Forehand. Senator Hicks-Hudson? Yes. Representative Forhan? Yes. Senator Gavarone? No. Secretary LaRose? No. Mr. Morgan? No. All right, the motion fails. At this point, I move to approve the ballot language as presented and shared with the members last night and presented here in the folder. Is there a second?
[37:49] Second. Seconded by Senator Gavarone. Discussion on my motion?
[37:55] Representative Forehand. Thank you Mr. Secretary. I think again it’s just important to remember the purpose why we’re here, to try to produce language that the voters when they when they enter the polling location enter the ballot booth they look at it for the first time that it fairly and accurately, reflects the proposed change in the law that that’s going to have and for the reasons that we discussed before I would submit this is not a fair and and accurate representation of the change in the law. And so again, I would urge a no vote with respect to the motion. Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Thank you, Representative. And I would respond that having worked extensively on drafting this, I do believe that it’s fair and accurate. Again, I think that we agree to disagree perhaps on that. And of course, the written text of a 250-plus word constitutional amendment creates what I consider a number of very substantial changes to the Ohio Constitution. Tried to summarize that the best way we can and make it a clear statement here in the ballot. And what he doesn’t tell people is that his draft was actually, longer than the draft that was turned in by the coalition. And so that language does not fairly and or accurately describe the the amendment. Further.
[39:18] Discussion on my motion. Again having been moved and seconded that we approve the language as drafted. Josh please call the roll. Senator Hicks-Hudson. No. Representative Forhan. No. Senator Gavarone. Yes. Secretary LaRose. Yes. Mr. Morgan. Yes.
[39:36] By a vote of three to two, the motion carries and the language is approved for the ballot. So there you have it. By a three to two vote, they adopted LaRose’s draft that uses inflammatory and manipulative language that unfairly characterizes the amendment and doesn’t fairly describe it and what its implications are. It also leaves out many of the reproductive choices that was included in the original petition. And again, they think that the voter is stupid. That somebody’s gonna come into the voting box and see it for the first time and say, what the heck is this? Well I’m gonna vote no. And I hope that voters are not stupid. I don’t think that they are. This This issue has been raging in Ohio for the last couple of years now, especially after the Dobbs decision, and so I think that people are up in arms about it, and they’re really into, they’re focused on it. And so we just have to vote again in November to take care of this.
[40:50] And I will point out, too, that this meeting was 27 minutes long, and a majority of that time was spent on this issue. When they moved on to the cannabis issue, there was no discussion, they accepted the draft summary from the petitioners, and they voted unanimously to accept it.
[41:12] So there you go. I mean, that’s proof positive that the Christian nationalists like LaRose and Gaviron pulled out all the stops and tried to use every trick in the book. And they think that they’re, you know, they think that they’re like two moves ahead of everybody. And so hopefully that’s not the case. And, but we’ll find out in November. Thank you for listening.
[41:39] For more information about the topics in this episode, please visit the episode page at glasscityhumanist.show. Glass City Humanist is an outreach of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie. Surely can be reached at humanistswle.org. Glass City Humanist is hosted, written, and produced by Douglas Berger, and he’s solely responsible for the content. Our theme music is Glass City Jam, composed using the Amplify Studio. See you next time!
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Written, produced, and edited by Douglas Berger and he is entirely responsible for the content. Incidental voice overs by Shawn Meagley
The GCH theme is “Glass City Jam” composed using Ampify Studio
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