Rep. David Joyce refuses to support marriage equality

Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Contact: Brexton Isaacs,

Rep. David Joyce refuses to support marriage equality
Position puts Joyce squarely in line with the Freedom Caucus-wing of the GOP

Novelty, OH – On Tuesday, Renee Fox of the Warren Tribune Chronicle reported on Congressman David Joyce’s refusal to support marriage equality. In response to Fox, Joyce’s campaign parroted Freedom Caucus rhetoric that’s been used to justify discrimination against LGBTQ Americans.

Betsy Rader, Joyce’s opponent, is the mother of two sons who are gay and is a staunch proponent of LGBTQ rights. Rader has been endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign and HRC President Chad Griffen kicked off a volunteer canvass with Rader in August (VIDEO).

“This time last year, I was so proud to attend my son’s wedding and watch him marry the man he loves. I am deeply dismayed that my Congressman would refuse to support equality for all people, including my sons who are both gay and who just want to have a happy family life like anyone else. To dismiss the the LGBTQ community, of which there are countless members in this district, as an “East Coast Special Interest Group,” is despicable. My kids grew up in this district, and as I have campaigned this past year, voters throughout the district have repeatedly told me personal stories of how family members or they themselves are LGBTQ, and how appreciative they are that I am openly supporting them. Congressman Joyce clearly doesn’t hold these values, and his attitude toward gay marriage and LGBTQ rights is exactly why actions like passing the Equality Act are so imperative. This disregard for basic human rights makes him wholly unfit to serve in Congress,” said Betsy Rader. “Discrimination is not an American value, it’s not a Northeast Ohio value, and our district deserves better.”

In July, as a member of the Appropriations Committee, Rep. Joyce voted to allow federally-funded adoption agencies the ability to discriminate against LGBTQ couples.

Warren Tribune Chronicle: Joyce defends against Human Rights Campaign

September 18, 2018
Renee Fox
Key Points:

  • Included on a list of targeted incumbents who don’t pass muster on HRC’s “scorecard” is U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce, R-Russell. The group gave Joyce a 16 out of 100 on its “congressional scorecard,” which measures his support of policies that support LGBTQ equality.
  • “(Joyce) has consistently worked to undermine equality, co-sponsoring the so-called First Amendment Defense Act and opposing an amendment supporting a ban on employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity by federal contractors. Just last week, Joyce voted for a discriminatory amendment that would grant a license to discriminate in provision of child welfare services,” a news release from HRC states.
  • But Joyce’s campaign spokesman, Josh Weemhoff, said Joyce doesn’t pay attention to “special interest groups from the East Coast” and the incumbent who has held the seat since 2013, “makes decisions that he believes best represent the values and needs of the people of the district.”
  • Weemhoff did not address questions inquiring how Joyce feels about same-sex marriage and whether his position on the issue has evolved over time. In the past, Joyce has said he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman and that states — not the federal government — should determine rights issues.
  • “As a former prosecutor, Dave Joyce believes in the American principle that the laws of this country should be applied fairly and equally across the board. He has never been a big fan of special carve-outs under the law because the law already makes discrimination illegal,” Weemhoff said.
  • Weemhoff said an important element missing from the conversation about LGBTQ rights is how the law can pit the right to equal treatment against religious liberty.
  • “One of the items that is missed in this entire conversation is how do you balance people’s right to equal treatment with their constitutional religious liberty protections? Those two items exist equally under the law,” Weemhoff said.
  • When she accepted HRC’s endorsement, Rader said she is the mother of two gay sons. “And this is personal; Congressman David Joyce has repeatedly voted to permit discrimination against LGBTQ individuals. We’ve seen over the last two years that we can’t take the progress that we’ve made for granted and so, when I get to Congress, I’m committed to working tirelessly for human rights and equality for all people,” Rader said.

Read the full article here.