COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP)–A state constitutional marriage amendment in Ohio has moved one step closer to appearing on the ballot after a state appeals court refused Sept. 20 to toss out petitions gathered by supporters.
The ruling by the three-judge appeals court panel said amendment opponents did not “demonstrate their right” to have the court toss out the thousands of signatures supporters collected to put the amendment on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Ohioans Protecting the Constitution, a homosexual activist group, had argued that the petition that was circulated did not contain the proper summary of the amendment. The group has not decided whether to appeal, the Associated Press reported.
Ohio’s amendment would ban both same-sex “marriage” and Vermont-type civil unions.
Including Ohio, as many as 11 states could have marriage amendment on the ballot Nov. 2. Already this year, voters in Louisiana and Missouri have passed marriage amendments with overwhelming margins. Louisiana’s amendment passed with 78 percent of the vote, Missouri’s with 71 percent.
David Langdon, an Alliance Defense Fund-allied attorney involved in defending the petitions, praised the ruling. Langdon works for the Law and Liberty Institute.
“The people of Ohio will be heard at the polls,” Langdon said in a statement. “As in other states, proponents of homosexual ‘marriage’ know that the issue loses whenever a state puts it before the voters. Such attempts to stop the people from having a voice continue to fail.”
The group that gathered the signatures, the Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage, fell 42,000 shy of the 323,000 valid signatures required to place an amendment on the ballot. But the group has since submitted 144,000 more signatures to the Ohio secretary of state’s office — a practice allowed in Ohio.
“The question about whether or not we’re going to have enough signatures is not an issue,” Phil Burress of the Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage told The Columbus Dispatch.
After failing to defeat Missouri’s amendment, homosexual activists launched a series of lawsuits in several states — including Arkansas, Oklahoma and Georgia — to try and keep amendments off the ballot. Those cases have yet to be decided.
State marriage amendments such as the one in Ohio tie the hands of state courts, preventing Massachusetts-type rulings legalizing same-sex “marriage.” But they can be overturned in federal courts, where Nebraska’s marriage amendment is being challenged. For that reason, pro-family groups are supporting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
For more information about the national debate over same-sex “marriage,” visit http://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage