Monday, April 14, 2014

Ohio AG certifies petition for Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment

The Ohio AG has approved the petition
filed by Freedom to Marry Ohio. The
next step is the Ohio Ballot Board.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has certified the petition for the Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment.

This means that it will be sent to the Ohio Ballot Board to ensure the amendment contains a single issue and, if so, petitioners can begin to gather the signatures necessary to put the measure on the ballot.

Interestingly, today a federal judge is expected to issue a ruling on whether or not Ohio must recognize the marriages of gay couples who marry in other states.

Ohio voters approved a state-wide gay marriage ban in 2004.

According to the summary, the amendment would repeal and replace Section 11 to Article XV of the Ohio Constitution to:

  • Allow two consenting adults not nearer of kin than second cousin, and not having a husband or wife living, the freedom to enter into a marriage regardless of gender.
  • Define religious house of worship as one where the primary activity is religious worship and provides that no house of worship or its clergy shall be required to perform a marriage.
  • Provide that all legally valid marriages shall be treated equally under the law.

Here is the press release with a link to the petition:

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today determined that the proposed Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment seeking to amend Article XV, Section 11 of the Ohio Constitution submitted the required 1000 valid signatures of Ohio electors and a summary of the amendment that is a "fair and truthful "statement of the proposed law.

Attorney General DeWine has sent letters to both the committee that represents the petitioners and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted.

"Without passing on the advisability of the approval or rejection of the measure to be referred but pursuant to the duties imposed on the Attorney General's Office under Section 3519.01(A) of the Ohio Revised Code, I hereby certify that the summary is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed constitutional amendment," Attorney General DeWine stated in a letter to the petitioners.

Once the summary language and initial signatures are certified, the Ohio Ballot Board must determine if the amendment contains a single or multiple issues. The petitioners must then collect signatures in 44 of Ohio's 88 counties, equal to 5 percent of the total vote cast in the county for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election. Total signatures collected statewide must also equal 10 percent of the vote cast for the office of governor in the last gubernatorial election

The full text of today's letter and of the amendment petition may be found at

1 comment:

Silas Tsang said...

This'll be interesting if it passes in Nov. I think that it'll determine long-term whether Republicans as a whole go mainstream on the issue of gay rights. Good post.

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