Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish Prevents Pro-Life Teen From Getting Award
by Steven Ertelt
February 8, 2010
Columbus,OH (LifeNews.com) — In what has been billed as an unprecedented act of partisanship, Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish is coming under fire for denying a pro-life teenager a chance to receive an award. Shelby County teen Elisabeth Trisler was hoping to receive a legislative honor routinely presented to others.
However, Budish is refusing to allow Trisler on the House floor to accept a legislative resolution.
The resolution, authored by Rep. John Adams, a Republican, honors her accomplishment as the National Right to Life Oratory Contest winner last year. (LifeNews.com editor Steven Ertelt was an officiating judge at the contest).
Such honorary resolutions are routinely presented at the start of Ohio House legislative sessions to constituents, including those who win athletic championships or academic contests.
But Trisler, whose winning speech received a standing ovation from several hundred people at the closing banquet, was denied the honor. instead, she will receive the resolution in the mail.
"Surely Speaker Budish can put aside his partisanship for 10 minutes to honor the accomplishments of a talented and optimistic teenage girl," Ohio Right to Life Executive Director Mike Gonidakis told LifeNews.com today. "Perhaps his real message to Ohio’s teens is that excelling in public speaking isn’t worth being honored if their views are different than his."
Budish spokesman Keary McCarthy told the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper today that Budish pulled the plug on the event on February 3 after becoming uncomfortable with the "politically sensitive" nature of the award because it was sponsored by a pro-life group.
"You want to save these occasions for times when the House can jointly celebrate their constituents’ achievements without the undertone of politics," McCarthy said.
McCarthy said "the Speaker is not going to permit politically sensitive groups to use the House floor as a platform, whether it’s a gay-rights advocacy group or a right to life organization."
Adams responded saying, ""The Ohio House of Representatives is known as the ‘people’s house.’"
"It is an outrage that Speaker Budish has decided to politicize and deny the presentation of a proclamation honoring national pro-life award on the House floor that was previously approved by the Speaker," Adams said.
The newspaper indicated that, since the latest legislative session began last month, 43 groups and individuals have received similar resolutions on the state House floor.
Trisler won the National Right to Life Oratory Contest held at the NRLC Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina in June, 2009. During the second half of 2009, Rep. Adams’s office worked to schedule the presentation of Trisler’s proclamation on the House floor.
On January 29, the House Clerk informed Rep. Adams’s office the presentation was canceled because the Speaker "had a problem with the subject matter."
"The Ohio House chamber is a monument to the importance of oratory and persuasion on the great issues facing our state," added Gonidakis. "Silencing someone because you disagree is a terrible lesson to teach teens. The Speaker should reconsider his unfortunately petty decision."
Related web sites:
Ohio Right to Life – https://www.ohiolife.org
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