Catch up with the people


House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio says he’s not budging on gay marriage. Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio is not budging on guns (he voted against background checks in the Senate just a few days ago). And the Catholic Church in Ohio is still telling the faithful that the inclusion of birth control in health insurance is somehow a threat to religious freedom.

But the people of Ohio are ahead of the politicians.

According to a recent Quinnipiac Poll, Ohioans favor legalization of gay marriage 48 to 44 percent. Ohio women support it 52 to 40 percent.

On gun control, 84 percent of Ohio voters, including 80 percent of voters in households with guns, support universal background checks for gun buyers.

Those are telling numbers, suggesting that Mr. Portman ignored the overwhelming will of Ohio’s people when he opposed expanding background checks for potential gun buyers. Mr. Portman changed his mind on gay marriage when it touched him personally. Maybe he needs to go to the inner city in Toledo or Dayton and talk to mothers who have lost children to gun violence.

Some 52 percent say they are more likely to support a congressman who backs background checks.

Finally, 51 percent of Ohio voters sampled say all employers should be required to offer birth control as part of their benefits plan, regardless of religious or moral beliefs; 59 percent of women say this.

Ohio voters are way ahead of their politicians on the major issues of the day. When will the people demand their leaders catch up? Or simply replace them with people who listen?