Remarks by Ohio House Minority Leader Armond Budish are sparking disgust by animal rights activists who said he was making light of a serious problem.
Budish was reluctant to talk to 10TV about the comments he made while honoring a departing fellow lawmaker who wanted to make bestiality a felony.
“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, but Mr. Speaker you still have a few days to remedy that omission,” said Budish on the House floor.
The remarks were met with disappointment from the Capital Area Humane Society and others.
“It's devastating to see anyone make light of a situation like this we fight everyday to end animal cruelty in the community,” said Rachel Finney, Executive Director.
The statehouse video also captures the bill's sponsor, Democrat Jay Goyal, smiling and laughing as well. He was serious when he spoke to us last year about punishing those who have sex with animals.
“When I first heard about the law I was surprised there wasn't one already on the books,” Goyal said at that time.
He created the bill after 31-year-old Peter Bower, who lives in Goyal’s district, admitted to having sex with his dog and posted about it online.
Bower pleaded no contest to animal cruelty because Ohio lacked a bestiality law.
On Tuesday, 10TV followed Budish into the Riffe Center elevator for comment where he was met with ribbing from his fellow lawmakers.
“Did you say something about animals again? You got the press following you?” one said as laughs followed.
Budish finally relented and stopped so 10TV could interview him about his remark.
“I said I was sorry that people took it the wrong way,” said Budish.
He would not comment when asked if he thought the animal rights groups were overreacting.
Budish said that he is an advocate for animal rights and helped get Nitro's law (another animal cruelty law) passed through the House.
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