Gay marriage supporters in Ohio say they have collected enough signatures to put the issue on next year's ballot.

FreedomOhio co-founder Ian James said at a news conference in Columbus that his group has collected more than the 385,247 signatures needed to reach the ballot box next year, though he refused to reveal the actual number.

FreedomOhio's proposed constitutional amendment targets for repeal a 2004 voter-approved amendment prohibiting the state from recognizing any union other than a heterosexual marriage. Passage would also allow gay couples to marry in Ohio.

The group also released findings from a Public Policy Polling survey it commissioned which shows opposition to same-sex marriage in Ohio at 48 percent and support at 47 percent. Support increased to 56 percent when pollsters explained that the group's proposed constitutional amendment exempted religious institutions.

“Ohio is ready for marriage equality,” James asserted.

Mike Premio, executive director of Equality Ohio, the state's largest LGBT rights advocate, disagreed, telling Cleveland's WVIZ that next year is too early for Ohio. The group launched an educational campaign earlier this year to set the stage for a marriage campaign.

“Why Marriage Matters Ohio is actually working with leaders in the national and state LGBT community and our allies – to people who have experienced winning marriage equality in other states and those who are experienced on the ground in Ohio in issue advocacy – to come up with a consensus opinion on how to proceed,” Premio said.

James said that his group's goal was to collect 1 million signatures before the July 2 deadline.