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My Equality Ohio [EO] Lobby Day experience was very interesting. I did make to Columbus on time, which surprised me since I left later than I wanted to. At the morning Lobby Day briefing in the Governor's Ballroom at the Hyatt we had about 500 people who attended Lobby Day, which EO said was very good considering Equality Ohio is only officially 9 months old. Out of 132 state legislative reps only 6 turned us down, but I was surprised who two of six were - Sens. Bob Spada and Tim Grendell, both Republicans from our area.

EO did have straight allies from PFLAG to sons and daughter of gays and transsexuals. The other item I noticed was I say 50 percent of our lobbyists for the day were women. Even saw some gay friends and acquaintances from Cleveland at Lobby Day.

The little assigned group I had did see our local state rep. Tim DeGeeter, one of the few Democrats that voted for the state version of DOMA. DeGeeter basically said he voted for DOMA because of his constituents. On other LGBT issues he seemed supportive although my impression was he wasn't a rabid supporter, but a supporter nevertheless.

Our little group had two other 'lobbyist' for the day, a young lesbian and a transsexual. You could say we had a good cross section of the LGBT community in our group!

For our next stop we were going to meet up others in our senate district with state Senator Dale Miller, who is very supportive of gay rights. Since everybody was there and he did give a speech during our Ballroom briefing, I felt the meeting was redundant. Our little group got there late because of the meeting with DeGeeter, but it didn't matter since the meeting was almost over.

Somehow, I ended up hanging around the transsexual for the rest of the day.

Anywho, since we didn't bring any business cards, we wrote our contact information on the extra Equality Ohio name tags we had. Harvey left his in Tim Grendell's office, and I left mine in Bob Spada's office. Mrs. Spada happened to be there, so I gave her some material and a quick briefing on our issues and what we were doing that day.

Since we had some time, we decided to take a short tour of the state capitol building. We eventually went to the state Senate chambers just before they started their session. Guess who was there? The missing Tim Grendell, who happened to recognize Harvey. I took it that Harvey had previous law work through which Grendell was her lawyer. Grendell said the last time he saw her, she was a he. They had a short pleasant chat, and we both got his business card. Also there in the Senate chambers was Bob Spada, but I didn't think of it at the time to talk to him since the Senate was in session.

Later that late afternoon, there was a legislative reception at which the Ohio Republican Speaker of the House John Husted was honored for killing House Bill 515 which would have banned gays from adoptions. Our national Log Cabin Republican president and leader Patrick Guerriero, who had also been lobbying at the state capitol, also gave a good speech.

Lucky I on Monday got talked into driving Patrick Guerriero and LCR Cincinnati chapter president Ted Jackson to Cincinnati for a fundraiser there. I was thinking about going to Cincinnati for the fundraiser anyhow to see Patrick, but instead I drove him.

Which wasn't too much of a plus, since both Patrick and Ted nodded off for a nap. I guess my new car is quiet and comfy! :-)

The house for this small reception was nice. Four-story house on Liberty Hill overlooking downtown Cincinnati. It was a narrow house but it had plenty of room. The top floor was used for parties and receptions and had a kitchenette and a pool table. The third floor was bedrooms. The second floor had the kitchen and the living room. First floor had the entrance and garage. Another cool part was that it had a small elevator for getting to other floors.

Anyhow, I didn't pay for anything at the reception but I did eat (I figure that was my compensation for the night). Met some of the nice Republican people there.

This reception ended around 10:00. So I drove Ted Jackson and Patrick Guerriero to the downtown hotel Patrick was staying at. I finally left at 10:30 pm for home.

Of course, I don't make it home until 4:30 am that night (also known as the next morning). About 20 minutes into the drive there was a bad accident on I-71 that backed up traffic for a half hour. Then 30 minutes after that, a line of big thunderstorms came through. The rain was so heavy I pulled over at the next rest stop and took a 30 minute break, since the most I could do was 50 mph. The rain between Cincinnati and Columbus was mostly heavy, but tapered off on the way to Cleveland. I pulled over a couple more times when I felt too tired to drive on. But I made it home!

I am still feeling tired - and I have to work second shift tonight. Taking another long rest tonight!

I hope I remebered to record Will & Grace...

Overall, the Lobby Day experience was good - and I would recommend it to all LGBT persons to participate in these events.

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