As many gathered around their televisions to watch the approval of their local school levy or politician to win, those in the LGBT community sat on the edge of their seats awaiting the outcome of legislation which would decide the fate of marriage equality in four more states.
Tuesday night is being called by many as a pinnacle moment in history as tides begin to turn for marriage equality and LGBT rights. Maryland, Maine and Washington all passed legislation allowing same sex couples to be married and recognized within their state. The state of Minnesota also shot down an amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. This is the first time any state has denied a marriage ban within the country. This momentum has sparked other states to begin working on legislation to remove the stigma of inequality and promote a more accepting society where it's citizens will be able to get married, no matter who they love. That momentum can be felt from the shores of the Atlantic to the coast of the Pacific, and now here in the buckeye state.
Ohio will be voting as soon as November 2013 on legislation for marriage equality. The group, Freedom To Marry Ohio, is currently collecting signatures to have the measure placed on the ballot in 2013. Article XV, Section 11 of the Ohio constitution would be amended from marriage being strictly between one man and one woman to read:
"Section 11. In the State of Ohio and its political subdivisions, marriage shall be a union of two consenting adults not nearer of kin than second cousins, and not having a husband or wife living, and no religious institution shall be required to perform or recognize a marriage."
Volunteers in all 88 counties are collecting signatures to ask voters to amend the Ohio Constitution with the new language. At the same time, the amendment would not infringe upon religious freedoms. Religious institutions would be free to recognize or not recognize the marriage.
Our Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom amendment language has been approved by the Ohio Attorney General, the Ohio Ballot Board, and withstood a challenge in the Ohio Supreme Court.
To learn more about the marriage equality amendment or to get involved, please visit Freedom To Marry Ohio's website at www.freedomohio.com.