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Debate Over When to Put Same Sex Marriage on Ballot in Ohio
COLUMBUS -- A debate over when to put the issue of same-sex marriage to Ohio voters has created a rift within the movement.
The disagreement came to light after an announcement this week that FreedomOhio, the organization that has been gathering signatures necessary for a ballot measure for more than a year, announced their goal is for the measure to be on the November 2014 ballot.
“That was really to allow for 17 more months of great conversations with Ohioans,” said FreedomOhio co-founder Ian James.
While advocates of same-sex marriage say the right can’t come soon enough, some aren’t sure enough support and infrastructure will be in place by next year.
Freedom Ohio stood alone after a meeting of 11 state and national groups considering when to put the measure on the ballot.
“We don’t want to make an arbitrary decision without all of the research and for some people that sounds so scientific.
Well, it is,” said Equality Ohio Executive Director Elyzabeth Holford. Holford said the groups, which include the state and national arms of the ACLU, Human Rights Campaign and Lamda Legal, are considering polling, fundraising and other factors.
James said FreedomOhio’s experienced group of Ohio politicos is confident that momentum is building, but the group will consider pulling the plug if conditions don’t look right.
“This is a family disagreement. Ultimately your family can be the toughest on you of anybody, but it’s a family disagreement that really steels your spine and prepares you for the campaign that’s ahead,” James said. Citizens for Community Values, which sponsored Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage, has emailed supporters in the past few days to highlight the internal struggle.
They say they’re ready to do battle on the issue no matter when it goes to voters.
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