Ohio AG: Dismiss Challenge to Marriage Equality Proposal

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on Advocate.com May 01 2012 8:16 PM ET

Ohio’s attorney general has asked the state Supreme Court to dismiss a lawsuit by a group that wants to keep a pro–marriage equality proposal off the ballot.

Atty. Gen. Mike DeWine (pictured) last month approved the language of the measure, which would repeal a state constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage and replace it with an amendment permitting marriage between any two people regardless of gender. DeWine said that while he opposes same-sex marriage, his opinion has no bearing on the matter. He was simply performing the duties of his office in certifying that the wording is a “fair and truthful statement of a proposed constitutional amendment” to go before voters, The Columbus Dispatch reports.

A group called the Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage has filed suit asking the state’s high court to invalidate DeWine’s certification, claiming the language “is not a summary and is not a fair and truthful statement.” However, in a court document filed Friday, DeWine said the Ohio Supreme Court has no jurisdiction over the process, as state law leaves certification of ballot-measure language solely to the attorney general.

The approval by DeWine, followed by that of the Ohio Ballot Board, allows Freedom to Marry Ohio, the group sponsoring the pro-marriage amendment, to begin gathering petition signatures for the measure. It would take 385,253 valid signatures of registered Ohio voters to put it on the ballot in November 2013.