Nine Ohio mayors have endorsed an
effort to legalize gay marriage in Ohio, Cleveland's Gay
People's Chronicle reported.
Ian James, who headed the group which
led the unsuccessful 2004 campaign to defeat Ohio's constitutional
amendment barring the state from recognizing gay and lesbian couples
with marriage or civil unions, is working to put the issue back on
James has submitted language for a
petition to the Ohio attorney general's office. Supporters would
need to collect 385,245 valid signatures from at least half of Ohio's
88 counties to qualify for the ballot.
“We will absolutely get this on the
ballot,” James told WKSU
radio. “Our volunteer base has grown 11 people every hour on
average. … The energy is behind this issue. We have gay and
straight allies. There are leaders of all stripes coming on board.
This is a broad-based effort and it's going to make it to the
On Valentine's Day, Ohio's largest gay
rights advocate, Equality Ohio, announced the formation of Freedom
to Marry – Ohio, which is co-chaired by four elected officials.
Nine Ohio mayors have backed the effort, including Mayors David
Berger of Lima, Michael Coleman of Columbus, Sara Drew of Stow, Frank
Jackson of Cleveland, Edward Kelley of Cleveland Heights, Mark
Mallory of Cincinnati, Gary Norton of East Cleveland, Don Plusquellic
of Akron and Mike Summers of Lakewood.