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One Step Closer
LGBT Issues- Ohio inched closer to marriage equality on Tuesday when Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General, approved a petition for an amendment that would “redefine marriage in Ohio as ‘a union of two consenting adults, regardless of gender.’” The state’s 2004 constitutional amendment currently restricts marriage as being between “one man and one woman.”
In order to put the amendment on the ballot, the Freedom to Marry Coalition (FTMC) must now gather “385,253 valid signatures of registered Ohio voters.” Something the coalition’s co-founder Ian James hopes to do by November 2013 according to Huffington Post.
Although Ohio’s 2004 amendment banning gay marriage “passed by 62 percent,” James feels that the new amendment will pass, largely due to the fact that public approval of gay marriage is rising, and due to an exemption he plans to add to the amendment outlining that religious facilities will not be required to perform the marriages.
“This is important because people who are moderately opposed [to gay marriage] say they are moderately opposed because they don’t want their religious institutions to be forced to perform marriages,” James told Huffington Post. “With voters it’s always important to be clear. Ambiguity in ballot issues can be deadly. When it comes to intellectualism vs. emotion in campaigns, emotions always win out,” he added.
Freedom to Marry (FTM), a national marriage quality nonprofit, which is not affiliated with Ohio’s FTMC, worked to pass New York’s law using similar language. Although Evan Wolfson, founder of FTM, feels that the language “is redundant,” he agrees that the “religious exemption has become an effective tool for passing gay rights legislation,” and said he supports its use “if it helps reassure some people that this right wing scare tactic is phony.”
Read more at Huffington Post.