Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on Tuesday accepted a petition that seeks to repeal the state's gay marriage ban, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

DeWine had rejected Freedom to Marry Ohio's first filing, saying its description was flawed.

“Without passing on the advisability of the approval or rejection of the measure to be referred,” DeWine stated in a letter to petitioners, “I hereby certify that the summary is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed constitutional amendment.”

The approval is the first step in putting the issue back on the ballot next fall.

Freedom to Marry Ohio now must collect roughly 385,000 valid signatures from half of Ohio's 88 counties.

Ohio voters in 2004 overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union. Freedom to Marry Ohio is helmed by Ian James, who also headed the group which unsuccessfully campaigned in 2004 to defeat the ban. The group is co-chaired by four elected officials and backed by nine Ohio mayors.

On Monday, George Forbes, president of the Cleveland chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), endorsed the effort to repeal the ban.