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Social Issues

Cleveland Right to Life gets boost of support
Opposition to same-sex marriage attracts backing from around the country. 

Mark Urycki
In The Region:
National Right to Life may have reprimanded its Cleveland chapter for its stance opposing gay marriage, but the local organization is hardly worried.   Cleveland Right to Life says the controversy has only boosted support from around the country.  

Anti-abortion forces in Ohio and around the country have been celebrating victories as state legislatures pass new restrictions on abortions.  National Right to Life officials did not want the Cleveland chapter to divert attention to same sex marriage.  Last week they pulled affiliation from the Cleveland group. But the local president, Molly Smith, says only state chapters affiliate with the National group.

“So this was very confusing that they would so-called disaffiliate a right-to-life group that has not affiliation anyway.”

Smith says the controversy brought an outpouring of support from around the country, and $15 thousand dollars in donations in the first 5 days. Smith says the Cleveland chapter is closer to the grassroots members. 

“As opposed to a national organization who deals primarily with insider Washington people. We have got our fingers on the pulse and we are not surprised by this but it is very exhilarating to find that people are really standing behind us.”

Smith says the Cleveland Right to Life stance against same-sex marriage was always understood by members. But now, with talk of a ballot initiative in Ohio to eliminate barriers to gay marriage, the chapter made it part of their mission statement.  Ohio's constitution bans recognition of same-sex marriage.

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