The Lucas County commissioners on
Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution in support of an effort to
repeal Ohio's gay marriage ban.
Ohio's 2004 voter-approved
constitutional amendment prevents the state from recognizing any
union other than a heterosexual marriage.
“Equal protection under the law is a
fundamental right of all citizens, and we must stand against
discrimination and do what is right,” Carol Contrada, board
president, told The
Toledo Blade. “By supporting this amendment, I support the
right of all families to be recognized and respected in Ohio.”
Commissioner Pete Gerken added: “I
have been an advocate for civil rights for 50 years, and the fight
for civil rights does not stop with gender, age, ability or race.
Now we should extend those rights to marriage equality.”
The group FreedomOhio began its effort
to repeal the amendment last year. The Ohio Freedom to Marry and
Religious Freedom Amendment would replace language in the Ohio
Constitution excluding gay couples from marriage with inclusive
language, thereby legalizing marriage equality in the state.
Ian James, a co-founder of FreedomOhio,
said the group was “very proud to have their support.”
“We welcome them in being the first
of many county commissioners to join this movement. This is a matter
of family security. This is a matter of civil rights. This
amendment is a matter of protecting and respecting religious
James said that while his group will
easily surpass the roughly 385,000 valid signatures needed by July 3
to qualify for this November's ballot, a decision to put the question
before voters this year hinges on public support and available
“It's not a matter of filing to come
close,” he said. “It is a matter of filing and winning.”