Chair Of Ohio's Freedom To Marry Coalition Steps Down
The effort to repeal Ohio's gay marriage ban hit a snag today after Tim Hagan, chair of the Buckeye State's Freedom to Marry Coalition, stepped down due to lack of support from the national, unrelated group Freedom to Marry and other high profile LGBT organizations.
On Top Magazine offers more information:
Three established gay rights groups appear to be steering clear of the effort, each saying the timing isn't right.
Freedom to Marry, the nation's largest group devoted to the issue of marriage equality, told the Gay People's Chronicle that it is not behind the effort.
“Ballot measures are expensive and we need to do years of groundwork, hit benchmarks, and get the state to where we can win,” said Marc Solomon, national campaign director for Freedom to Marry. “Getting to the ballot is the last step. It should never be the first step.”
Ohio Public Radio reported that the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights advocate, has said it also was withholding its endorsement.
Ed Mullen, executive director for Equality Ohio, the state's largest gay rights advocate, told The Columbus Dispatch that sufficient “research and analysis has not been done that would make this a successful effort.”
"Because there's not a unified voice, certainly among the gay community, we need to take a step back and make sure everybody is singing from the same hymnal," Hagan said of his decision.
Despite the dearth of support, Freedom to Marry did succeed last week in winning approval from the state's Ballot Board to move ahead on a proposed amendment legalizing same-sex nuptials there. They now have to collect about 385,000 signatures from half of Ohio's 88 counties to get the measure on next year's ballot, and organizers promise they're up for the challenge.