hio House Minority Leader Armond Budish of Beachwood was trying to be funny on the house floor this week as he honored fellow Democrat State Rep. Jay Goyal, who is leaving after three terms to get his MBA at Harvard University and take over his family manufacturing business, Goyal Industries.
Budish noted that Goyal had introduced legislation last year, along with Rep. Jeff McClain, to make bestiality a felony in Ohio. The law was introduced after a 32-year-old Shelby, Ohio resident was charged with multiple counts of having sex with dogs.
“Perhaps his proudest legislative moment, his crowning achievement, was the crafting and introduction of House Bill 289, with Representative McClain — the anti-beastiality bill,” Budish said as some in the General Assembly began to snicker. “His biggest disappointment in an otherwise stellar legislative career is that the bill has not passed and the sheep of Ohio have not adequately been protected.”
That brought an even bigger laugh.
And the laughter over animal abuse has animal rights activists angry. Advocates of a separate anti-animal cruelty bill, House Bill 108 (also known as Nitro’s Law), took aim at Budish on social media after his comments.
That bill is stuck in the Ohio Senate and backers fear it won’t be brought up for a vote and will expire, the same fate that met a previous version of the bill in 2010.
H.B. 108 would elevate animal cruelty on a first offense to a felony in Ohio and would stiffen penalties for abuse. Budish voted for it in the House, but that didn’t provide him any cover with his comments on the bestiality bill.
“We are beyond disturbed,” read a post on the Nitro Foundation Facebook page. “Every single one of you should be outraged that our public servants are laughing over abuse.”
Budish referred Tipoff to the communications director of the House Democratic Caucus, Sarah Bender, who said via e-mail: “Leader Budish is Sorry if people have taken comments from his recent speech the wrong way. He believes animal cruelty is a very serious issue, which is why the leader worked to pass Nitro’s Law while he was speaker and supported it again during this legislative session.”
Budish’s comments about the bestiality bill begin at 65:25 of this video clip:
Views – 77