Organizers backing a constitutional amendment to allow gay marriage in Ohio said Wednesday that they’ll put the issue before voters in November 2014.
Ian James, co-founder of FreedomOhio, said delaying the vote by a year allows more time to raise money and build support among Ohioans.
He also announced that the Human Rights Campaign, Equality Ohio, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, National Freedom to Marry and other groups are now working together on the campaign. Previously, the groups had been fractured about what avenue to take.
The proposed Freedom to Marry amendment reads, “marriage shall be a union of two consenting adults not nearer of kin than second cousins, and not having a husband or wife living, and no religious institution shall be required to perform or recognize a marriage.”
Elyzabeth Holford, Executive Director at Equality Ohio, said in a written statement: “We all recognize our responsibility to Ohioans to make sure we get this right. And I know that together, we will. When we do move forward it will be with the same strong partners as the other successful states.”
James has said that his group has already collected more than the required 386,000 voter signatures required to put the question to the voters statewide.
Ohioans voted 62 percent to 38 percent in favor of a constitutional amendment in 2004 that defines marriage as between one man and one woman and prohibits the state or local government from recognizing a legal status for unmarried individuals.
A Gallup poll released in May shows national support for gay marriage at 53 percent — the fourth consecutive survey from the firm showing 50 percent or above approval. And a March Saperstein Poll for The Columbus Dispatch showed that 54 percent of Ohioans back the Freedom to Marry amendment, but other surveys show as few as 41 percent of Ohioans favor same-sex marriage.
Last month, Minnesota became the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage.
By Laura A. Bischoff - Dayton Daily News, Ohio (MCT)
©2013 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)
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