Gay marriage supporters will resubmit a
petition that seeks to repeal Ohio's gay marriage ban after a first
attempt was rejected, the Gay
People's Chronicle reported.
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 the office of Ohio Attorney
General Mike DeWine, the first step in putting the issue back on the
ballot this fall or next.
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
domestic relations, marriage and children.
Ian James of Freedom to Marry Ohio said
his group is moving forward with a new version.
“[W]e expected the AG rejection and
drafted a revised summary petition,” James wrote to the paper in an
email. “The issue of brevity, Title 31 and the individual
recognition have been addressed. The petition process continues and
we anticipate filing the new summary petition next week.”
Ohio's largest gay rights advocate,
Equality Ohio, will be creating awareness for marriage equality by
holding a mass wedding on Saturday in front of Willard Park's Free
Stamp sculpture, just blocks from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and
Museum in Cleveland.
More than 200 gay couples are expected
to tie the knot at the event.