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GOP Candidate Compares Gays To Arsonists, Kleptomaniacs

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GOP Candidate Compares Gays To Arsonists, Kleptomaniacs

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

July 24, 2006 - 5:00 pm ET

(Columbus, Ohio) Ohio's largest LGBT civil rights organization is demanding an apology from GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell after he compared gays to criminals in a newspaper interview.

Asked by the Columbus Dispatch if homosexuality is a sin and if it 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."

Not surprisingly Blackwell, who currently is Ohio's Secretary of State, also opposes same-sex marriage. But while his Democratic opponent, Ted Strickland also opposes gay marriage, Strickland told the paper that he differs with Blackwell on 'nurture vs nature'

"I think the scientific literature indicates that it is likely that homosexuality is in fact something that is not learned, but I wouldn’t want to say that that’s the situation in all cases," Strickland told the Dispatch.

Lynne Bowman, Executive Director of Equality Ohio called Blackwell's remarks offensive and out of step with the majority of Ohioans.

"This kind of speech is unacceptable for a public official and is divisive and offensive to hard working Ohioans across this state," said Bowman.

"We call on Blackwell to retract his statement and apologize for his remarks comparing LGBT people to common criminals."

Aides to Blackwell did not immediately return calls for comment.

A recent poll shows that Blackwell trails Strickland by more than 20 points.

©365Gay.com 2006

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