Ohioans Try to Overturn State Constitutional Marriage Ban

by: Jamie Anne Royce

Note: This piece was originally published at Stuff Queer People Need to Know and has been republished with permission. You can check out the original here.

The Freedom to Marry Coalition submitted more than 1,700 signatures today to Attorney General Mike DeWine, the first step in an attempt to reverse Ohio’s same-sex marriage ban. The signatures were in support of a ballot measure to amend the state constitution to define marriage as a union of two consenting adults, regardless of gender.

Ohio has three same-sex marriage bans, including the constitutional amendment approved by voters, which banned not only gay marriage but it also barred state and local governments from recognizing anything resembling gay marriage, like domestic partnerships. Under the referendum, businesses cannot be forced by the government to recognize same-sex relationships, but businesses can choose to recognize these relationships and extend domestic partner benefits to employees.

Citizens for Community Values—a faith-based organization in Cincinnati affiliated with Focus on the Family—instigated the federal Defense of Marriage Act and created the blueprint for state DOMAs, including Ohio’s constitutional same-sex marriage ban. President George W. Bush’s reelection is widely credited to Ohio’s same-sex marriage ban, because voting on it spurred a large conservative turnout during the 2004 general election.

Supporters will need nearly 400,000 signatures to place the inclusive marriage initiative on the ballot this year or next.

Click here for more on religious marriage, legal marriage, civil unions and criticism of state-recognized partnerships.

Jamie Anne Royce is a fierce fancy femme and mobile media machine, working as a freelance writer, reporter, editor and photojournalist. She also blogs at Stuff Queer People Need To Know.

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