Wesley Goodman, a “family values” Ohio State Representative who opposed gay marriage,  resigned last week due to “inappropriate behavior.” It was later revealed that Goodman had fondled an 18-year-old college student and made unwanted advances to several other men. 

According to a report by The Washington Post, Goodman, the Republican representative of Ohio’s 87th District, fondled an 18-year-old college student who had come to a conference in Washington, D.C., with his parents to raise funds for Goodman’s campaign, in a hotel guest room in 2015. 

When the student told his parents, his stepfather emailed Tony Perkins, president of the Council for National Policy. In the emails, which were obtained by The Washington Post, Perkins told the stepfather the incident would be addressed.

While Perkins reportedly urged Goodman to drop out of the race and suspended him from the council — citing “prior incidents” in a letter obtained by The Washington Post — Goodman went on to win a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives in 2016.

Goodman lived a double life, according to a report by cleveland.com. One one front, Goodman was a conservative politician who previously worked for Republican U.S. Representative Jim Jordan, who has been active against LGBT issues. On another front, he was actively pursuing relationships with men. 

A conservative operative told cleveland.com Goodman would pursue college students who wanted a mentor but were too afraid to report his inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment.

"People never really wanted to come forward against someone in power," the operative told cleveland.com.

Johnny Hadlock met Goodman in 2010 when he was working for another GOP congressman, and the two began a relationship in which they exchanged lewd messages. Hadlock told cleveland.com the relationship was consensual but said he doesn’t think Goodman deserves privacy due to his anti-LGBT history. 

"My hope for Wes is that he can now pursue an authentic life and be happy, whatever that means," Hadlock told cleveland.com.

@leckronebennett

bl646915@ohio.edu

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