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Same-sex marriage amendment gets first-step clearance for the Ohio ballot
Now the Ohio Ballot Board weighs in

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M.L. Schultze
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In The Region:

A same-sex marriage amendment to Ohio’s constitution has passed its first hurdle to get onto the November ballot.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine ruled today that the Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment had gathered the required 1,000 valid voter signatures and a summary of the amendment submitted by supporters is "fair and truthful.”

Now the Ohio Ballot Board must determine if the amendment deals with only one issue. If it does, supporters must then gather 385,000 valid signatures – including a certain percentage in each of at least 44 counties – to get on the ballot.

Ian James, who is heading the Freedom to Marry effort, acknowledges that likely won't happen in time for the November election. 

LISTEN: James on next steps

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“The 385,245 valid signatures (required)…I don’t believe we’ll be able to make the ballot for this year.” James said. “But we’re holding onto the original petition and we’ll be testing both petitions along the way to see which one does work the best with voters.”

DeWine’s initial ruling comes the same day a federal judge in Cincinnati is expected to rule that Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states. DeWine has said he’ll appeal that ruling.
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