Ohio Supreme Court Dismisses Gay Rights Referendum Challenge


Ohio’s Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a challenge brought by anti-gay groups hoping to block a referendum on retiring the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage and replacing it with gender neutral language that would allow same-sex couples the right to marry.

Reports Dayton Daily News:

The Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage asked the court to invalidate DeWine’s approval of the Freedom To Marry petition summary because “it is not a summary and is not a fair and truthful statement of the proposed constitutional amendment.” The Cincinnati-based group was behind the 2004 amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

DeWine stood by his certification and asked the court to dismiss the suit because the court has no jurisdiction over the pre-certification process for a proposed constitutional amendment. Instead, he wrote, the attorney general must approve any language — even if he or she disagrees with it or thinks it might be unconstitutional.

Court justices voted 5-2 to dismiss the case, with Justices Terrence O’Donnell and Robert Cupp dissenting.

As noted above, anti-gay marriage group the Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage had claimed Attorney General Mike DeWine (R), who has repeatedly stated he is personally against same-sex marriage, approved a petition question that did not accurately reflect the goal of the referendum which, they said, was to redefine marriage to the detriment of the state’s children.

Following the court’s ruling, AG DeWine reiterated his stance that his personal opinions didn’t count in this case. According to WKSU he said: ”When somebody wants to put something on the ballot, it’s not a question of whether Mike Dewine likes it or doesn’t like it. …  The question is: Is it a concise and accurate representation of what that ballot initiative would do. And our lawyers looked at it and said, ‘Yes it was.’”

Equality groups will have to gather roughly 385,000 signatures to put the measure before voters in November 2013.


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


Glenna Jones-kachtik
Glenna Kachtik5 years ago

(Cont) This is in a land that is not a Theocracy, but one that says we have religious freedom. In a land that sets itself apart as one that values human rights. Are those human rights in name only? If we deny some citizens the rights of others based largely upon religious grounds - how strong IS that belief?
It is just wrong to say - this is the land of the free - when some are more free than others. When some who are taxed do not reap the same benefits as others who are taxed at the same rate.

Glenna Jones-kachtik
Glenna Kachtik5 years ago

They say marriage is much to sacred to be redefined - that marriage is (according to the Bible) between a man & a woman. But let's look at the bible: marriage has already been redefined - women, in most cases, are not property of their fathers to be traded or bartered for horses, cows, goats or livestock, any longer. We are also in most cases, not part of a harem - just one of many wives & we no longer expect to share our husbands with concubines either. In the Bible, the woman was chattel, property & one of many. Oh, the Biblical guys had their favorites, to be sure - but still. We aren't expected to marry our husband's brother when he dies. In most cases, we aren't silent. We have rights. We aren't all expected to marry & have children.
The argument against same sex marriage is the same tired argument as slavery, not giving women the right to vote, not allowing black people to marry white people etc. It is also about hatred, bigotry & prejudice.- no matter if they say it is or not. It is about disenfranchising a group of people because of a religious belief; & about removal of civil rights from a group of people. People who are OK to fight & die for our country - but who are not allowed to marry the person they love...people who are for the most part just like you or me & who are treated as 2nd class citizens - in a land where we say we have the highest ideals & values of human life. In a land that is not a Theocracy, but on

Beth M.
Beth M5 years ago

.ok...so those who want to protect marriage..might be happy with a word change?...Lets call it..ermm..a *joining*...The law is here to protect All of us..not just those deemed worthy by an outdated mis-guided mis understood divisive skewed and perverted group of souls who spend too little time thinking of their own souls and force outdated ways of being on those of us who have..fortunately..evolved...x..

Glenna Jones-kachtik
Glenna Kachtik5 years ago

To those who would deny gay couples basic civil rights that are guaranteed by marriage - not special rights - not different rights - but the same rights as they:

"Do you seriously believe that GOD will judge someone for loving a person of the same sex - but will not judge you for hating someone you never even met?" Read that the other day on FB. It goes hand in hand with Bigotry, Prejudice & Hatred wrapped in the Bible are still Bigotry, Prejudice & Hatred. They don't belong with a religion that talks about the Prince of Peace & a God of Love.

Muriel C.
Muriel C5 years ago

The Ohio Supreme Court did its job

Debra Van Way
Debra Van Way5 years ago

Two consenting adults should be permitted the right to marry if they so desire, period. I am so very tired of the so called "religious" groups trying to prevent rights to others. The only thing these groups are doing is turning more people against religion of any kind. The our way or the highway groups may just find themselves paved over.

Valarie Snell
Valarie Snell5 years ago

great comment Robert L

Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago


Maureen Leibich
Maureen Leibich5 years ago

pam w.--"Jesus would be SO VERY PROUD of them." They seem to have forgotten, or to never have noticed, Jesus is a Liberal. He ate with tax collectors and befriended prostitutes. He preached peace and taught tolerance. The only mention of him getting extremely angry I can find in the Bible is when he cleared the money lenders out of the temple.

I am surprised, though, that a Republican Attorney General actually seems to be working for the people who elected him. He is following the law and not his personal opinion. Good for him.

Joseph Belisle
Joseph Belisle5 years ago

Let's hope that Ohio becomes one of the next states to honor the Constitution.