While many danced to mock Vice President’s return to the state of Ohio, one gay man is preparing to run for a spot in Congress.
Rick Neal is currently in the running for the 15th district congressional seat for the state of Ohio. He is the first openly gay man to run for a congressional seat from the state and could become the first openly gay Congressman from Ohio.
Having realized that fact, Neal is especially appreciative during this month. While walking in the Stonewall Columbus Pride parade with his husband Tom and his two daughters, Neal notes how much LGBTQ rights have given him.
Just a few years ago, Rick Neal and his husband weren’t able to have kids or get married, but the fight for LGBTQ rights have allowed him to have a family. Now, he wants to give back.
"Democracy worked for me and my family and now I just want to make it work for everybody," said Neal to WCMH-TV Columbus.
When talking about the Pride event, Neal also added:
"Showing their support, they're showing their openness, that is the Columbus way," Neal said. "Everybody coming together, supporting each other. I felt that a lot this year. I thought it was fantastic."
"I'm always very proud to be able to get out there and to feel that support. Come on, it makes me feel awesome," he said.
That said, Rick Neal also shared that he did pause for a moment before deciding to run. He wanted to make sure the decision was right for his family and not just himself.
"Sure, we thought about it," Neal said. "I had a long discussion with my husband Tom and our girls and our extended family to talk about it, but you know what, we felt what people really wanted in this district was a fighter."
Now, Rick Neal is on the path towards becoming a Congressman. We’ll see if he’ll win the 15th district congressional seat in November.