Ohio AG Gives Nod to Gay Marriage Ban Repeal Initiative
Ohio’s Attorney General’s office has approved the language for a ballot initiative to repeal Ohio’s gay marriage ban.
Under the proposed measure, no religious institution would be forced to marry couples or recognize their marriages.
Attorney General Mike DeWine on Tuesday certified the coalition’s amendment summary as “fair and truthful.” He had rejected its summary phrasing last month.
The Ohio Ballot Board must now review the proposal on Thursday but is not expected to reject the initiative.
The AG’s nod assures that the petition submitted by the group Freedom to Marry contains a thousand valid signatures and a viable summary. DeWine previously rejected the proposal saying that it did not provide an adequate description of the change in the law being sort.
LGBT rights groups hope that Ohio, in a first for any state in the US, might overturn its 2004 voter-enacted constitutional amendment banning marriage equality and replace it with language that would allow two consenting adults who otherwise fulfill the requirements of current marriage law in the state to wed.
The initiative also received the backing of the president of the Cleveland chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He reportedly said:
“Not since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has there been a more important step to achieving equality for all Americans. At the same time, we are ensuring that religious institutions are guaranteed the freedom to refuse to perform or recognize marriages.”
Equality groups will have to gather roughly 385,000 signatures to put the measure before voters in November 2013.