Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on
Friday rejected a petition that seeks to repeal the state's gay
Ohio voters in 2004 overwhelmingly
approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a
On March 1, the group Freedom to Marry
Ohio submitted nearly 1,800 signatures to DeWine's office, the first
step in putting the issue back on the ballot this fall or next.
“After reviewing the submission, I
conclude that I am unable to certify the summary as a fair and
truthful statement of the proposed constitutional amendment,”
DeWine said in a letter to petitioners.
DeWine said that petitioners had
submitted more than the required 1,000 valid signatures but he found
three defects with the summary language, including a summary which
was longer than the amendment itself.
He also noted that two provisions
stated in the summary were not addressed in the amendment.
“The summary states that the
amendment retains the rights contained in 'Section 11 of Article XV
for political subdivisions to not recognize a legal status for
relationships of unmarried individuals.' However, the text of the
amendment does not indicate that political subdivisions would retain
And, DeWine added, “The summary
states that the amendment retains 'the portions of Title 31 that
codifies this Amendment.' However, the text of the amendment does
not contain any reference to Title 31.”
Title 31 is Ohio's revised code for
Ian James, who headed the group which
led the unsuccessful 2004 campaign to defeat the ban, helms Freedom
to Marry Ohio. The group is co-chaired by four elected officials
by nine Ohio mayors.
gay couples set to 'marry' in Cleveland, Ohio.)