Supporters of gay marriage in Ohio have
begun a campaign to repeal the state's 2004 constitutional amendment
defining marriage as a heterosexual union.
The group Freedom to Marry Ohio on
Thursday submitted nearly 1,800 signatures to the Ohio Attorney
General's office, the first step in putting the issue back on the
ballot in either 2012 or 2013.
Ian James, who headed the group which
led the unsuccessful 2004 campaign to defeat the ban, is leading the
“We had to leave the country we love
to be married,” James told Columbus CBS affiliate WBNS. “My
husband and I were married in 2003 in Canada. But this isn't about
us. This is about Ohio.”
If the Attorney General's office
certifies 1,000 valid signatures and accepts the group's proposed
language, supporters would need to collect 385,245 valid signatures
from at least half of Ohio's 88 counties to qualify for the ballot.
Phil Burress, president of Citizens for
Community Values, said that permitting gay and lesbian couples to
marry would harm children.
“We don't think our children should
be taught in public schools that homosexuality is the norm,”
Burress said. “That's what's happened in these states where they
have approved same-sex marriage. Once you approve same-sex marriage,
then the children are the target.” (A video report is embedded in
the right panel of this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
to Marry Ohio is co-chaired by four elected officials and backed
by nine Ohio mayors, 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