Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Ohio started airing TV commercials Tuesday, the day after opponents began running their own ads. The Cincinnati-based group Citizens for Community Values is airing the ads on Columbus-area stations to refute claims raised by opponents that the amendment could hurt the economy. According to Citizens for Community Values president Phil Burress, the ad was needed to counter the "despicable scare tactics" of groups opposed to the amendment.
Opponents say the amendment could affect legal relationships of unmarried couples of either sex, such as senior citizens who live together and share property but aren't married. Burress says that's inaccurate. Ohioans Protecting the Constitution have begun running a series of ads statewide opposing the amendment. The group has raised more than $500,000 but won't divulge the size of its advertising buy. Burress said it's possible his group will expand the TV ad campaign statewide, depending in part on fund-raising. "We said all along we weren't planning on doing any ads unless we had to respond to disinformation, and sure enough that's what's happened," Burress said.
The amendment would ban gay marriage and also prohibit state and local governments from recognizing the legal status of any unmarried couple, gay or straight. Ohio already has one of the strictest laws in the country banning same-sex marriage.