The World-Herald reports:
As Republican U.S. Senate candidate Pete Ricketts campaigns on a platform that supports traditional marriage, his sister sits on the board of a national group that is fighting Nebraska's ban on same-sex marriage.
Laura Ricketts serves on the board of directors of Lambda Legal, a group dedicated to the civil rights of gay men and lesbians. It is one of three organizations challenging Nebraska's ban on same-sex marriage in court.
Her brother is running against Democratic U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson in the November election. Pete Ricketts has spoken out in opposition to same-sex marriage on the campaign trail and in his early political advertising.
The Ricketts siblings declined repeated requests to discuss their polar-opposite views on gay marriage.
"I love my sister. I disagree with her on this issue. What more is there to say?" said Pete Ricketts, who declined further comment.
Laura Ricketts, a lawyer who lives in Chicago, did not respond to telephone calls or e-mail messages. A spokeswoman for the Ricketts campaign said Laura Ricketts did not wish to comment for this article....
In early television advertisements, Pete Ricketts highlighted traditional marriage as one of his core "Nebraska values."
He has said he would support a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and said he opposes any federal regulations that would require businesses or others to provide domestic partner benefits to employees.
For as outspoken and active as the Ricketts siblings have been on their respective sides of this issue, it really is sort of sad that they're not willing to use their high-profile positions of prominence and privilege to engage the public in this debate.
That said, it's understandable that the Ricketts campaign would be uncomfortable with such a discussion. Having engaged in the right-wing sport of exploiting the love between homosexual partners for political gain, there's no truly reconciling such actions with the love Ricketts attests for his sister. Running on a campaign agenda that would see your sister made a second-class citizen may appeal to hard-core conservative activists but doesn't easily fit into most voters' idea of family values.
Of course, we don't want voters to think about this issue in terms so humanizing of those who are actually affected by it. It's better for Ricketts' purposes to play on cultural insecurities and the majority's false sense of victimization, imagining the struggle for equal rights as an assault on marriage itself. To acknowledge that these are real people seeking justice - not just those dastardly liberal, activist judges but also our friends, neighbors, and family members - muddies the waters and makes Ricketts' subtle message of intolerance so much more difficult a sale.