Ohio Estimates Over 400,000 Signatures Collected to Place 'Marriage' Amendment on Ballot

If the Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage turns in enough valid petition signatures, Ohio voters will get a chance to vote on gay 'marriage' ban.
( [email protected] ) Aug 04, 2004 09:23 PM EDT

Ohio may be the 13th state to join the line of states voting on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex “marriages” this year if enough petition signatures are verified. According to the Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage, the initiative estimates it will submit over 400,000 signatures to Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell on Wednesday.

The group needs at least 322,900 valid signatures to place the measure on Ohio’s Nov. 2 ballot.

Taking the approach of a grassroots effort, Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage head coordinator Phil Burress said the effort to collect the needed signatures was amazing, given the short nine-week period allowed, according to Family Research Council.

Burress also heads Citizens for Community Values, one of the family policy councils associated with FRC.

Signatures were collected in 71 of Ohio's 88 counties, more than the 44 required, he told the Associated Press.

Missouri, the first state to vote on a constitutional amendment defining marriage to be between a man and a woman, passed the measure on August 3 in a landslide victory, joining 4 other states with similar amendments. Nine other states will vote on similar amendments this year. Initiatives in three states including Ohio are pending.

Although Ohio, like all the other states voting on the measure, already has a state law banning same-sex "marriage," a constitutional amendment would protect the marriage law from legal challenges.

If the measure makes it, the group says it will campaign door-to-door and advertise by mail, radio and television.