Tags: gay | rights | ohio

Ohio Gay-Rights Groups Differ Over Amendment

Thursday, 12 Apr 2012 08:41 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Ohio’s largest gay-rights group is backing away from a proposed constitutional amendment to repeal the state’s same-sex marriage ban because of “potential holes” in the bill.
Ed Mullen, executive director of Equality Ohio, said his 30,000-member group supports the goal of overturning the ban, but doesn’t like a clause in the proposal allowing churches to refuse to perform or recognize same-sex marriages, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
“Sufficient research and analysis has not been done that would make this a successful effort,” Mullen said.
In addition, Freedom to Marry Inc., a national organization pushing for the right of all couples to marry, has staked out a neutral position on the Ohio amendment, which could be placed on the ballot in 2013 if enough petition signatures are collected.
Ian James of the Ohio Freedom to Marry coalition downplayed the problems that some groups have with the amendment’s language. He said his state organization is committed to moving forward as quickly as possible.
“It’s going to be a challenge to overturn the marriage ban. But it has to begin sometime, and the time is now,” James said.
If passed, the initiative would repeal a 2004 constitutional amendment overwhelmingly approved by Ohio voters that defines marriage as solely between a man and a woman.

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