CommunityPam's House Blend

Black homo-bigot tossed out in Ohio


Out gay Mark Tumeo unseats the unfortunate homophobe Jimmie Hicks, Jr. in Cleveland Heights.

I’m sure we’ll be reading about Dem electoral uprisings of this sort from all over the country today, but here’s a tasty one out of Cleveland Heights, OH.

Blogger David Caldwell says homo-bigot City Councilperson Jimmie Hicks, Jr. who consistently fought a domestic partner benefits ordinance with a very public campaign against gays is probably wondering what hit him last night.


Hicks should have seen the handwriting on the wall in 2003, when the ordinance passed. Yesterday, he was not only tossed out of office, but he was replaced by an openly gay challenger. Sweet revenge at the ballot box:

May your political career rest in peace, Jimmie. I’ll never forget lecturing you about adoption at City Council. And I know that the work I poured so much of my passion into ultimately proved to be your undoing. It’s like winning all over again.

…Hicks will probably blame it on his party switch, or mysterious outside pro-gay forces. We did an anti-Hicks mailer to the 5,000 supportive households we identified (painstakingly, door-to-door) in the 2003 campaign, and maybe that made a tiny difference.

But mostly, Jimmie just chose the wrong side in the fight about the gays. He never thought he might lose, and kept digging a deeper and deeper hole as he kept losing. Maybe a tiny wake-up call for others — maybe it’s not safe to pick on the gays anymore, not everywhere. Someday nowhere.

I’m sure it will be no shock to you that Hicks is also a minister — yet another one to go on the list of so many black pastors in favor of discrimination. From a hysterical piece on a domestic partner registry that Hicks opposed — and ended up costing the city quite a tab. From the Cleveland Scene (in 2004):

Closet Homo of the Year
When Cleveland Heights decided to create a domestic-partner registry, it was a largely symbolic gesture. The registry offered none of the marital benefits typically granted to breeders. In fact, no one seems to really know what it did, beyond sending homos the basic message, “Hey, you guys are all right by us.”

But Minister/Councilman Jimmie Hicks Jr. knew better. Allowing homos even a facsimile of marriage would bring darkness to the fashionable suburb. They would settle down, buy homes, and paint them in far more arresting colors than breeders ever could. Soon, there would be an outbreak of advanced gardening. Someone might even erect a tasteful gazebo.

Hicks vigilantly campaigned against the measure. If the city granted official sanction, he argued, everyone would turn homo. The temptation would be too great — even for Jimmie Hicks. And since he harbored a modest ability to accessorize, he would likely have to purchase a mail-order boyfriend from Croatia, which could run upwards of 800 bucks.

Still, Hicks was an elected official; he would trust his faith in a public vote, he vowed. Regretfully, the people of Cleveland Heights didn’t trust Jimmie Hicks. They approved the measure by a comfortable 10 percent margin.

Being a man of God, Hicks promptly reneged on his word and sued. The litigation is expected to cost the city $100,000, yet it’s a small price to pay. Hicks was merely exercising his constitutional right to force everyone to agree with Jimmie Hicks. After all, if people don’t stand up for their rights, it’s only a matter of time before everyone can arrange an elegant fruit-and-vegetable platter.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding