COLUMN: Even without presidential elections, issues are big

Jen Steer

Election day is coming up and there are a few issues across the nation that are “kind of a big deal.” Even though this isn’t a presidential election, it doesn’t mean it’s not important. It does, however, still mean the possibility of me crying is pretty high.

Remember, Jen Steer cries about politics. Not relationships or things that matter to most people. On my hierarchy of needs, politics is at the top, followed by food, then puppies.

Last November, Ohio voted in favor of Issue One, a statewide ban on gay marriage. Well, a few other states are facing similar issues.

But this isn’t just another pro-gay rights opinion piece. This is a “big issues are going to be on the ballots throughout America and I thought it would be nice to let you know” article.

But let’s move on to the issues at hand. A law was recently passed in Maine that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, among other things, but the existence of this law may be in danger. The Associated Press on Oct. 30 said that a conservative group is trying to have this new act revoked.

Now, people are no longer just focused on whether or not people can marry. The existing law is an effort to ensure that people can’t be denied loans, housing and an education because of who they love. Although sexual orientation is not currently a box most students applying to college have to check, this law prevents things from going that far.

Much to the dismay of my fellow Democrats, Texas will most likely pass a constitutional ban on gay marriage. Shocking, I know. Texas will become the 19th state to take this action.

California has its own set of propositions that will make for an interesting off-year election. It won’t be as weird as the 2003 Gray Davis recall that had Gary Coleman running against a porn star and too many other people to mention. You remember the recall, don’t you? That’s how the Terminator came to power as governor.

Along with a proposition to limit the amount of power employee unions have, California has another one that would make it necessary that teens obtain their parents’ permission before having an abortion.

The wording of Proposition 73 actually defines an abortion as the “death of the unborn child, a child conceived but not yet born.” According to the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, this definition of abortion could possibly set the stage for a court battle because it would undermine part of the decision in Roe v. Wade.

Yes, I have failed to mention the major electoral issues on the ballot in Ohio, but keep in mind I am attempting to bring some attention to issues that could set nationwide precedents or even find themselves popping up around here come next election time. I’m also hoping one of my fellow columnists will tackle the issues.

So the lesson of the day is that when you mix together Arnold Schwarzenegger, same-sex marriage laws and abortion privacy, you end up with a pretty messed up election season.

Jen Steer is a sophomore broadcast news major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].