COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The nation’s leading anti-gay marriage organization was among the Christian conservative groups that knew a recently resigned Republican Ohio lawmaker had extramarital sexual contact with other men.
A Citizens for Community Values (CCV) board member tells The Associated Press that the Cincinnati-based group learned about Wes Goodman’s consensual activity after it had endorsed him in last year’s legislative primary.
The 33-year-old first-term state representative resigned last week after someone walked in on Goodman having a sexual encounter with a man in his state office.
“We all bring our own struggles and our own trials into public life,” Goodman said in a statement. “That has been true for me, and I sincerely regret that my actions and choices have kept me from serving my constituents and our state in a way that reflects the best ideals of public service. For those whom I have let down, I’m sorry.”
Republican House Speaker Clifford Rosenberger said he learned Tuesday that Goodman had engaged in “inappropriate behavior related to his state office.”
“I met with him later in the day where he acknowledged and confirmed the allegations,” Rosenberger said in a statement. “It became clear that his resignation was the most appropriate course of action for him, his family, the constituents of the 87th House District and this institution.”
According to his website, Goodman is a conservative Christian and former congressional campaign staffer to Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan. He served as managing director of the Conservative Action Project, leading “the fight for conservative principles like balanced budget, lower taxes, repealing Obamacare, life, and religious liberty,” his site said. It has since been taken down.
Board member Seth Morgan says Goodman faced no general election opposition and was “dealing with it,” so the issue was set aside by CCV and another group that was briefed, Ohio’s Conservative Republican Leadership Committee.
The Washington Post reported Friday that a third conservative group, the Council for National Policy, handled internally a complaint that Goodman fondled an 18-year-old college student at a conference.
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