2012 Election | News | Ohio

Ohio GOP Senate Candidate Josh Mandel's Family Takes Out Newspaper Ad Denouncing His Anti-Gay Positions

Just over two weeks ago I posted a video of Ohio GOP senate candidate Josh Mandel espousing his anti-gay positions in debate, saying that he opposed 'DADT' repeal and is a supporter of marriage between a man and a woman, but promising to represent every resident of Ohio and be "blind" to sexual orientation.

MandelSome members of Mandel's family took a full-page ad out in the Cleveland Jewish News denouncing him:

Open Letter to Josh Mandel,
Candidate for U.S. Senator from Ohio

Dear Josh,

Four years ago you came into our family. We still remember the excitement surrounding your wedding, and how happy our family members were as they described it afterwards. So we were deeply saddened when you announced during your October 18th debate with Senator Sherrod Brown that you believe only some people should share this right to marry the person they love, while others should not.

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.

Your cousins,

Michael Ratner, Bruce Ratner, Karen Ranucci, Pamela Lipkin, Rebecca 
Ratner, Elizabeth Ratner, Patrick Markee, Jacob Ratner, Ana Ratner


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  1. You had better WERK!!!


    this is exactly what needs to be happening, all over.

    no longer should one become a pariah for being openly LGBT.

    the pariahs are those bigots who actively promote a culture of prejudice and discrimination.

    this family ROCKS.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Nov 6, 2012 11:42:22 AM

  2. A welcome turnaround: the family that sees its *anti*gay relative as the black sheep.

    Posted by: PixelWizard | Nov 6, 2012 11:44:12 AM

  3. Ouch. And he's going to lose today, too.

    Posted by: Mikemike | Nov 6, 2012 11:45:11 AM

  4. That's going to be one tense family reunion...

    Posted by: Paul | Nov 6, 2012 11:48:36 AM

  5. I will no longer countenance family members that are bigots. Period.

    Posted by: Mykelb | Nov 6, 2012 11:50:13 AM

  6. Self-Loathing Alert!

    Posted by: JoyZeeBoy | Nov 6, 2012 11:52:27 AM

  7. Oooo, family values not quite working for ol' Mandel. A special *snap* for the line "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". Nice way to say he's immature. Anti-gay bigots are emotionally immature and selfish; they, like Romney, can't see beyond themselves, which is extremely bad for America.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | Nov 6, 2012 11:56:15 AM

  8. This is a great letter, and a model for how families can gently but firmly address discrimination and affirm their core family values. I am so impressed.

    Posted by: Dc | Nov 6, 2012 11:59:21 AM

  9. This is, of course, Bruce Ratner of Forest City Ratner along with his wife Pamela and his brother Michael and other family members. Given his notoriety as an NYC developer, I'm surprised it isn't mentioned in the post.

    Good on them.

    Posted by: JT | Nov 6, 2012 12:00:14 PM

  10. Ouch. Isn't that going to be a fun Thanksgiving!

    But this is symbolic of the future: we've come far enough that when people see a "friend" or family member voting for bigotry and against those they supposedly love, that person--like little Josh here--is going to get called out. We are out and so are our allies, and silence doesn't cut it now. If you're against equality, be ready to do some explaining.

    Posted by: Ernie | Nov 6, 2012 12:01:29 PM

  11. Now that's a family!

    Posted by: Randy | Nov 6, 2012 12:06:11 PM

  12. WOW! Three cheers for the cousins!

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Nov 6, 2012 12:17:14 PM

  13. Are they telling him :

    "Grow up!" ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Nov 6, 2012 1:20:50 PM

  14. Great! Made my day.

    Posted by: Jack M | Nov 6, 2012 1:50:54 PM

  15. Read another way, the Ratners are arguing that gays & lesbians should have the same opportunity, as straight folks, to die needlessly for Israel in the next war Mandel will support.

    Posted by: mikeflower | Nov 6, 2012 2:01:29 PM

  16. What a great family they are speaking out for the family members who are oppressed ! If everyone had such great family values the world would be a better place.

    I hope this moron loses. He needs a slice of reality like most of these elitist, spoiled Republican shi3heads !

    Posted by: Icebloo | Nov 6, 2012 3:02:17 PM

  17. Look for the pictures of Josh in drag. They do exist.

    Posted by: Hector | Nov 6, 2012 8:23:57 PM

  18. The Results - 2012 - Are the results of our collective voices speaking up and holding everyone accountable, every day. Outstanding - superb results 2012!

    Posted by: RexT | Nov 7, 2012 1:47:38 PM

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