Josh Mandel, the young Jewish Republican Iraqi war veteran, has won over a lot of supporters campaigning in the US Senate race in Ohio. But he has alienated his in-laws in the process over his anti-gay stance.

In an advertisement in the Cleveland Jewish News, several of Mandel’s wife’s cousins published an open letter in which they blasted the state treasurer’s statements during an October debate with incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown. In their letter, they cited Mandel’s comments that he opposed gay marriage and that gays should not be allowed to openly serve in the US military.

The cousins mentioned — by name — a married lesbian couple that was part of the family. One of the women in that marriage is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and was “the second woman in history to fly the U-2 reconnaissance plane.”

However, the letter states, Mandel believes that this cousin, and others like her, “should be forced to live a life of secrecy and lies.


The Ohio race for Senate has been very close throughout, but Mandel has never led in the polls. Many Republicans are hoping that if Ohio, which is considered an important swing state in Tuesday’s presidential election, votes Republican for president, that Mandel may be elected as well on Mitt Romney’s coattails.

Mandel’s in-laws apparently hope that does not happen. “Josh… this family is sprawling and diverse, but it has always believed strongly in the values of equality and inclusiveness,” they wrote. “Your discriminatory stance violates these core values of our family.”

They did not rule out the possibility of a family reconciliation. “We hope that over time, as you advance in years and wisdom, you will come to embrace the values of inclusiveness and equality as well.