Wednesday February 10, 2010

Ohio Speaker Reverses Decision, Will Allow Honor for Pro-Life Teen

By Kathleen Gilbert

COLUMBUS, Ohio, February 10, 2010 ( – Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish (D-Beechwood) has reversed a decision to disallow the presentation on the House floor of a routine legislative honor to a local pro-life teen, and will make room in the Ohio General Assembly’s schedule for the honor, according to the speaker’s office.

Ohio teen Elizabeth Trisler had been set to be presented on February 3 with an honorary legislative resolution, authored by Rep. John Adams, which recognized her accomplishment as the winner of the 2009 National Right to Life Oratory Contest. However, as (LSN) reported yesterday, the planned presentation was scuttled by Speaker Budish, apparently because Budish disagreed with Trisler’s pro-life values.

But Keary McCarthy, communications director for Speaker Budish, contacted LSN today to say that “the Speaker has reconsidered the request and will allow for the resolution presentation to occur at the next general assembly session or whenever they can schedule it.”

McCarthy said the Speaker nonetheless plans to “tighten and clarify” parameters for such honors in the future to ensure that the opportunity is not used as a political platform.

“We’re pleased that the speaker saw the error of his ways,” Mike Gonidakis, the executive director of Ohio Right to Life, told LSN. Gonidakis praised the decision, which he said will allow the recognition of of Trisler’s “enormous accomplishment” in winning the national competition.

“It’s really unfortunate that it had to come to this, but at the end of the day it’s a victory for Miss Trisler, her family, and for free speech,” said Gonidakis.

See related coverage:

Pro-Life Teen Barred from Receiving Honor by Ohio House Speaker