Prominent Ohio Republican Jim Petro Urges Marriage Equality at Launch of Ban Repeal Effort

A campaign to overturn Ohio's ban on same-sex marriage began officially today, and former Attorney General Jim Petro was on hand to offer his support, the Columbus Dispatch reports:

PetroPetro, a Republican who also served as auditor and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006, appeared at a news conference this morning with officials from FreedomOhio, the group collecting signatures to put the issue on the Nov. 2014 ballot.

He said when asked to support gay marriage, he "quickly and without hesitation said "I'm all for it."

According to the Dispatch, "Petro switched his position after his daughter, Corbin, legally married a woman in Massachusetts."

In realy June, national LGBT groups Human Rights Campaign, Equality Ohio, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, National Freedom to Marry, the Gill Action Fund, the American Unity Fund and the BISC distanced themselves from FreedomOhio's efforts to repeal the ban after organizer Ian James told the Dispatch that the groups were in agreement about 2014 as the date for the ballot repeal effort. The groups said there was no agreement on any specific date.

385,245 valid signatures of registered Ohio voters must be collected from at least 44 of 88 counties on a petition by July 3, 2014, in order to qualify for the ballot.


  1. says

    Some of the HRC types think 2014 is too early to put marriage equality onto the ballot in Ohio, but I am cautiously optimistic. Recent polling data indicates marriage equality is now favored by a plurality of Ohio voters. Ohio being a swing state, whether we prevail in 2014 will hinge on turnout. But consider that if marriage equality DOES pass in Ohio, it would be hugely influential to other states that are sitting on the fence.

  2. Anthony says

    Enough with this “put it on the ballot” garbage. We have a strong court decision in our favor and we should be using that to invalidate all of these state bans.

  3. says

    Good luck with that, Anthony. The reason Prop 8 was overturned in court was that it sought to remove rights that a group of people, namely same-sex couples, already had in California. That was not the case in Ohio, which has never allowed same sex marriage. Also, bumping a case up through the Ohio courts would be a rough hall. Consider that Ohio has had Republican governors for all but four of the last 22 years – and governors appoint judges.

  4. Anthony says

    I’m talking about federal courts, Hank.

    If you can’t discriminate against legally married couples whether straight or not, then how can not be discrimination if you can’t marry in that state. The federal trumps the state level. For federal benefits, so since I can’t get married in this state, I am being discriminated against because of a state law where someone in another state could get the benefits where we both would qualify otherwise. The only thing keeping me from getting federal benefits is a state level law.

    This will come to light sometime soon.

  5. Joe Lacey says

    I think it’s good that Ohioans are being proactive on the issue and not simply waiting for federal courts to overturn Ohio’s constitutional provisions. “Sometime soon” in the federal courts system could easily mean 5 to 10 years from now.

  6. says

    Anthony, same-sex married couples are eligible for Federal marriage benefits based the marriage laws where they were married, not where they live. That was the point of the Windsor ruling.

Leave A Reply