January 23, 2006

AFTER A BEAR, REPORTERS ARE EASY:

CATBIRD'S SEAT: From Genesis to gays to Griffey, Ken Blackwell speaks his mind (Dan Williamson / January 19, 2006, The Other Paper)

Frontrunners are boring. They surround themselves with a phalanx of overprotective advisers and handlers. Their public appearances are rare and tightly controlled. And since anything they say can and will be used against them, they keep from saying much of anything at all.

An exception to this rule is Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, currently the odds-on favorite to win the Republican nomination for governor in the May 2 primary.

Blackwell sat down in his office for questions on topics ranging from creationism to the Cincinnati Reds.

As usual, Blackwell was relaxed and occasionally funny, delivering most of his answers quietly, quickly and concisely. He was most animated when recalling his two-year term as mayor of Cincinnati in 1979-80 when he tried his hand at televised bear wrestling. ("Bear sweat stinks.") [...]

Do you have any openly gay friends?

I have openly gay friends and employees.

Do you ever debate the topic with them?

Let me put it this way: We have had discussions where our views are expressed. But we also understand clearly that there are points of view or points of fact or debate that we won't agree on.

But you know, it really does stem from the fact that those who are my friends understand that I respect their human dignity regardless of their sexual orientation.

Do you believe homosexuality is a sexual orientation? Or do you believe it's a psychological disorder that can and should be cured?

I think it's a choice that can be abandoned. [...]

If Ken Griffey Jr. is healthy this season, should the Reds try to trade him for pitching?

Never.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 23, 2006 9:10 PM
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