US: Ohio group drops plans for November state ballot on equal marriage
Plans for a state ballot this year to overturn Ohio’s same-sex marriage ban have shelved by groups in the state.
The Ohio Ballot Board had in April given preliminary approval to Freedom Ohio’s plans to hold a ballot on replacing the state’s constitutional marriage ban with a provision guaranteeing the right to marry for all, regardless of gender.
The group, which had to gather signatures before July 2 in order to appear on the ballots in November, has confirmed that it will no longer seek to do so.
Executive director Ian James said Freedom Ohio had not secured enough funding to run an effective campaign across the state.
Earlier this week, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed it had combined same-sex marriage cases from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee, and said it plans to hear the cases on August 6.
Though the initial Ohio ruling only pertained to recognition of marriages conducted out of state, it is possible that the Appeals court, or eventually the US Supreme Court, could broaden the verdict and strike down the marriage ban.
The 4th Circuit court in May heard arguments around Virginia’s ban, and in April, Denver’s heard by the 10th Circuit. Rulings in both cases are expected soon.