This morning, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine approved the initial summary language for a marriage equality amendment that would repeal of the 2004 “Defense of Marriage” Amendment. The Freedom to Marry movement and its sponsoring group, FreedomOhio, had submitted its second set of preliminary petitions to DeWine last week — revising the language he initially rejected — accompanied 574 more valid signatures than the 1,000 required.
The proposed amendment now goes to the state ballot board for final approval. Once they’ve signed off on it, that gives the FreedomOhio the go-ahead to start circulating petitions to gather the 385,245 valid signatures required to put it on the ballot. It has already signed up 1,400 volunteers in all 88 counties to launch the effort.
In a statement, Freedom to Mary chairman and former Cuyahoga County commissioner Tim Hagan said
The people of this state also understand this is an economic issue and we need all the good paying jobs we can attract and keep in this state. By making Ohio a Freedom To Marry state, we are sending a message that this is a warm and welcoming place to come, live, fall in love, marry and make a great life for yourself, your spouse and your children.
The amendment would allow any two individuals to marry legally in Ohio and specifies the right of any religious group not to perform or recognize any marriage that doesn’t square with their beliefs. — Anastasia Pantsios