Monday, February 08, 2010

House Speaker Denies Pro-Life Teen Access to House Floor

COLUMBUS - In an unprecedented act of partisanship, House Speaker Armond Budish (D-Beechwood) denied Shelby County teen Elisabeth Trisler a legislative honor routinely presented to others. Budish is refusing to allow Trisler on the House floor to accept a legislative resolution. The resolution, authored by Rep. John Adams (R-Sidney), honors her accomplishment as the National Right to Life Oratory Contest winner. 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.

"Surely Speaker Budish can put aside his partisanship for 10 minutes to honor the accomplishments of a talented and optimistic teenage girl," said Ohio Right to Life Executive Director Mike Gonidakis. "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."
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, as is typical of such awards. The presentation was scheduled for Wednesday, February 3, 2010.
However, on January 29th, the House Clerk informed Rep. Adams's office the presentation was canceled because the Speaker "had a problem with the subject matter." The Clerk advised the representative's staff to take the matter up with the Speaker. Speaker Budish supports abortion.

"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."
"The Ohio House of Representatives is known as the 'people's house'," said State Representative John Adams. "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.