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
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
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.