This has got to sting. Josh Mandel, the ultra-conservative, anti-gay bigot running in Ohio against Senator Sherrod Brown has been given quite a comeuppance by his own family. The Cleveland Leader reports they collectively took out a smoldering ad in The Cleveland Jewish News denouncing his stance on LGBT rights.

Your cousins, Ellen Ratner and Cholene Espinoza, are among the many wonderful couples whose rights you do not recognize. They were married almost eight years ago in Massachusetts, at a time when it was the only state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage. Their wedding, like yours, was a beautiful and happy occasion for all of us in our family. It hurts us that you would embrace discrimination against them and countless other loving couples in Ohio and around the country.

We are equally distressed by your belief that gay men and women should not be allowed to serve openly in the military. Like you, Cholene spent many years in the armed forces. A graduate of the Air Force Academy and an accomplished pilot, she became the second woman in history to fly the U-2 reconnaissance plane. And yet, you have argued that she, like many gay and lesbian soldiers, should be forced to live a life of secrecy and lies.

Josh, as you know, our roots are deep in the Cleveland area and we have friends and family we love throughout Ohio. This family is sprawling and diverse, but it has always believed strongly in the values of equality and inclusiveness. Your discriminatory stance violates these core values of our family. Nevertheless we hope that over time, as you advance in years and wisdom, you will come to embrace the values of inclusiveness and equality as well.


The open letter was signed by nine of his cousins. This "family values" guy must be completely wrecked to have his twisted values denounced by his own family. That took a great amount of courage and I applaud them for standing up for decency and equality. I've always respected Senator Brown and I hope this letter helps assure his victory tomorrow.

Originally posted to Steven Payne on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 06:07 PM PST.

Also republished by Kossacks for Marriage Equality, LGBT Kos Community, Angry Gays, and Milk Men And Women.

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