Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Friday rejected a petition that seeks to repeal the state's gay marriage ban.

Ohio voters in 2004 overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union.

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 these rights.”

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 domestic relationships.

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 and backed by nine Ohio mayors.

(Related: 200 gay couples set to 'marry' in Cleveland, Ohio.)