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Ohio AG Asks Court to Dismiss Marriage Amendment Suit

Ohio AG Asks Court to Dismiss Marriage Amendment Suit


Ohio’s Attorney General on Friday petitioned the state Supreme Court to throw out a suit against his office over his approving a referendum measure that would overturn the state’s enshrined gay marriage ban.

Reports The Columbus Dispatch:

The Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage sued last month, challenging DeWine’s approval of the wording on a ballot amendment proposed by Freedom to Marry Ohio.

In a response filed Friday, DeWine defended his action and argued that the court has no jurisdiction over what he called a pre-certification process — which the law says is exclusively the domain of the attorney general. DeWine said he certified a “fair and truthful statement of a proposed constitutional amendment.” He also noted that his opinion on the merits of the issue is irrelevant.


The Campaign to Protect Marriage, affiliated with the Cincinnati-based Citizens for Community Values, wants the court to invalidate DeWine’s certification of the proposal “because it is not a summary and is not a fair and truthful statement of the proposed constitutional amendment.”

Freedom to Marry Ohio is seeking to overturn the state’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and enshrine language that would allow two consenting adults to marry who, regardless of gender, meet all other legal requirements.

DeWine, who has repeatedly said that he is not a supporter of marriage equality, threw out Freedom Ohio’s first language submission on technical grounds.

The matter eventually went before a judge and a neutral framework was hammered out.

The Attorney General then certified the petition language last month and confirmed therein that the language was a fair and truthful representation of the proposed initiative. With that he allowed advocates to proceed to the signature gathering stage. Equality groups will have to gather roughly 385,000 signatures to put the measure before voters in November 2013.

However, opponents of marriage equality decried DeWine’s approval of the petition question, claiming that DeWine had allowed Freedom to Marry Ohio to use language that did not spell out that repealing the constitutional amendment banning marriage equality would be a “redefinition” of marriage.

As indicated above, they sued the AG’s office to try and press this point.

LGBT rights groups hope that Ohio voters, in a first for any state in the US, might overturn the state’s 2004 voter-enacted constitutional amendment banning marriage equality.


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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Fibonnaci Blue.

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6:33AM PDT on May 5, 2012

GOOD, and good for AG DeWine for insisting on a fair and accurate description of the amendment.

At over-long last,progressives have finally realized that it is absolutely stupid to continue allowing the forces of oppression to define the issues. Does anybody know anyone who is NOT "pro-life"? Anti-choice maybe. But people who support a woman's right to choose are pro-death? Not nearly as much as those who believe in abstinence-only diseducation and attacks on the use of condoms.

8:36AM PDT on May 4, 2012

Way to go Glenn. Talking snakes, indeed! We invented religin in order to have a way to justify our actions as the dominant species on this planet. If we had been around with the dino's they would have kept us in our caves.

10:18AM PDT on May 3, 2012

The sign of a screwed up nation is one where the mob gets to vote on the RIGHTS of the minority.

RIGHTS should NEVER be voted on. They should be enacted in law because it's the RIGHT THING TO DO.

If it's ok to vote on same sex marriage, then it's also ok to reopen the debates on votes for women, certain religious minorities and racial minorities too. If one group is denied their equality, NO ONE is equal.

8:26AM PDT on May 3, 2012

Thanks for the article Steve. I live in a semi-rural area and am surprised at the number of people I have spoken to who support gay marriage and will be helping to get signatures to put the measure before voters.

6:54AM PDT on May 3, 2012

Thank you for the article...

6:16AM PDT on May 3, 2012

“Religion was invented when the 1st con-man met the 1st fool.”
- Mark Twain

“People who believe in talking snakes should be ridiculed.”
-Bill Maher

“I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” -Stephen Hawking

"So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men."
-- Voltaire

8:02AM PDT on May 2, 2012

The thing with Ohio is that, like a lot of other states, there's a huge urban/rural divide politically. While I'm willing to bet that most people in, say, Columbus, support marriage equality, I'm also familiar with the other kind of Ohioan, the kind that are still pining for a mythical 1950's.

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