The co-founder of FreedomOhio, Ian James, announced on December 19 that their campaign to collect enough signatures to put the legalization of marriage equality on the ballot for 2014 has surpassed its goal. At a news conference, James said that they had exceeded their goal of 385,247 signatures—the minimum required—to put the issue on the state ballot. A second requirement, gathering signatures from 44 of the 88 counties in Ohio, has also been met. James declined to state exactly how many signatures FreedomOhio has been able to collect, but said that they were working to get a full one million signatures by early July, the deadline to file for a ballot referendum in November.
If they collect enough valid signatures, it looks like both Ohio and Oregon will be on the ballot in 2014. States number 18 and 19? Or will someone else get their first? What do you think?
A new poll shows that support for marriage equality in the state has risen to 52%.
The survey, conducted by Public Policy Polling of 1,011 Ohio voters from Dec. 6-8, 2013, concluded that 52% of voters would vote in favor of an amendment that “would allow two consenting adults to be married, so long as they are not nearer of kin than second cousins, are not currently married to someone, and no religious institutions will be required to perform or recognize a marriage.” Thirty-eight percent would oppose the amendment, and nine percent were undecided.
Of the 38% who would vote against the amendment, however, PPP asked a follow-up question: “This constitutional amendment protects religious liberties by allowing any house of worship, such as a church or synagogue, to refuse to marry a same-sex couple. Knowing this, if the election were held today, would you vote in favor of this amendment to the Ohio Constitution to allow same-sex couples to marry, or would you vote against it?” More than 10% of those initially against the amendment said that information would change their vote to supporting the amendment, which brought the total support up to 56%.
In related news, proposed legislation in the state would allow same-sex couples to file their taxes jointly.
Edge Boston reports:
Proposed legislation would allow same-sex couples in Ohio to file joint state tax returns in line with a U.S. Supreme Court decision that permits such couples to jointly file federal taxes. Backers say the bill could be enacted despite a 2004 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Ohio.