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Government and Politics

First gay marriage to air in Ohio since ban 10 years ago
Campaign manager says Ohio's opinion is changing on the issue

An Ohio gay marriage group will be airing the first pro-gay marriage ads in Ohio in 10 years.
Courtesy of Why Marriage Matters Ohio
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A TV ad that supports same-sex marriage will begin running on stations across the state tomorrow. It is the first marriage equality ad to be broadcast since Ohioans enacted a gay marriage ban 10 years ago.


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The ad features two elderly men who live together in Chagrin Falls: Henry Hawley and George Vassos.

The ad’s sponsor is Why Marriage Matters Ohio. Mike Premo, the group’s campaign manager, says this is the first in a series of true-life stories the group will run.

“They have been together 50 years. And they recently had to go to New York to get married. Unfortunately, the state of Ohio refuses to recognize their marriage as legal here in Ohio,” Premo says.

Premo believes that the tide is turning in favor of same-sex marriage, and he hopes the ad will spark discussion and cause more Ohioans to re-think the issue.

“We’ve seen two polls this year alone that show that 50 percent of Ohioans support allowing loving and committed couples to marry," Premo says.  "And with the string of successes we’ve had in the courts, it makes sense to run this ad now."

The head of the conservative Citizens for Community Values declined to comment. All Phil Burress would say is that Ohioans made it clear they opposed same sex marriage when they enacted the constitutional ban in 2004.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments over the marriage equality issue next week in Cincinnati.

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