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Government and Politics

Ohio activists mark Valentine's Day with a gay marriage petition drive
Gay rights groups are divided on whether public opinion has shifted enough to pass gay marriage amendment in November

Bill Cohen
In The Region:
Supporters of a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage in Ohio are spending Valentine’s Day, demonstrating, and collecting petition signatures to try to qualify their proposal for this November’s ballot.

At courthouses around Ohio, backers have turned out at marriage license bureaus, pointing out that gay Ohioans are still denied licenses. At a protest in Columbus, statehouse correspondent Bill Cohen talked with one gay rights activist, Tom Morgan. Petitioners are trying to collect the required 385,000 signatures using only volunteers; something Morgan insists they can do by this year’s July deadline.
Activists mark Valentine's Day with gay marriage petition drive

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"I'm getting excited. We're getting more and more endorsements. We've got a whole bunch of things in the works. I'm confident."
Ohio has two major gay-rights groups: Human Rights Campaign, and Quality Ohio. Adn they don't always see things the same way. But Morgan doesn't think that's a hindrance.
"It doesn't bother us at all. We've got many endorsements from labor, from politicians. We think that we are going forward. Regardless of whether we get their endorsement or not."
Some of the other gay rights groups feel Ohio's not ready for the gay marriage amendment, that public opinion hasn't shifted far enough.
But Morgan maintains, "Public opinion has shifted. And it continues to shift.Every time there's a poll, the numbers are a little bit more in our favor. The so-called birth of the gay rights movement was over 43 years ago. We've been told to wait for over 43 years since then.Usually by gay organizations who say, 'Not the right time. The right people are not in power.' "I am 54 years old. I've been with my partner for 15 years.I have high blood pressure and diabetes. I'm not about keep waiting."
That’s Tom Morgan, a gay rights activist in Columbus. He’s with a group called Get Equal. It says Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to make the point that gay Ohioans are denied what they call a basic human right, the right to get married.
Listener Comments:

My partner and i got engaged on valentines day and we were curious if there is anyway we could get involved, Newark Ohio is very supportive of same-sex rights and i would love to get some signatures for the petition. if there is any possibility, or anything we can do please don't hesitate to send me an email. thank you so much and stay confident!

Posted by: samantha brown (Newark) on February 18, 2013 12:02PM
Proud 2 be a part of GetEQUAL OH! Kudos Tom!

Posted by: Anonymous on February 15, 2013 12:02PM
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