Ohio Democratic Party Arranges Funds To Support Marriage Equality Efforts

gay-men-holding-hands-rainbow-braceletsThis week, the Ohio Democratic Party announced ambitious plans to make the state the 12th in America to legalize same-sex marriage, an effort that would require the repeal of a 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment that refuses to recognize same-sex relationships.

On Thursday, the organization sent an email to supporters asking “Isn’t it time that we make Ohio the 12th state to embrace equality?”, including a link to a newly-launched fundraising campaign that aims to draw voters’ attention to the issue, which is likely to appear on this year’s ballot in November.

This marks the first marriage equality efforts made in Ohio since the group FreedomOhio lobbied to repeal the discriminatory law last year with The Ohio Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment. The proposed law, which aims to change the gender-specific language of Ohio’s marriage laws, was quickly endorsed by several politicians from around the state.

“Equal protection under the law is a fundamental right of all citizens and we must stand against discrimination and do what is right,” Lucas County Commissioner Carol Contrada stated in a release last month. “By supporting this amendment, I support the right of all families to be recognized and respected in Ohio.”

But it’s the people of Ohio—not the politicians—that need convincing. FreedomOhio co-founder Ian James says that while the amendment will likely receive enough support to appear on this November’s ballot, the final decision is up to Ohio’s voters.

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  • decampbell

    Then Kurt and Blaine WILL Be able to get married. :)

  • Dakotahgeo

    Mehhhhhh… Ohio is too conservative a state yet. Let a few months/years go by and the opposition will be taken over by attrition and natural causes. Until then, they will remain a backwater drain state.

  • Badger88

    It will be on THIS November’s ballot? As in November 2013? That’s idiotic. At the very least, they should wait until November 2014, when it will be the midterm elections. Marriage equality can succeed in Ohio, but it must be during an election with as high of voter turnout as possible. If it’s a special election, only those who are truly passionate about the issue will vote, and the bigots will unfortunately outnumber us.

  • FStratford

    I see your points guys… but really?

    I say, put it in the ballot as often as possible.

    One of the fastest ways to win this thing is to fail miserably – Prop8 pretty much grabbed all of us by the cojones and got us the momentum to fight back.

    I say, make every state a battleground. Expose the homophobes to their kids and grandkids who are not homophobes. Make them realize their kids and grandkids will not let them get away with their outdated sense of heteronormative entitlement.

  • Badger88

    @FStratford: We have momentum right now, and a powerful narrative in the media. The surest way to ruin that momentum is to end our winning streak by targeting states prematurely. We already know who the homophobes are. Plus, it drains our resources, which could be much better spent on elections where we do have a chance of success.
    Come on, people, let’s be smart here. Civil rights shouldn’t be voted on, but if we’re going to put it on the ballot, let’s be politically-savvy about it.

  • tdx3fan

    @Dakotahgeo: A “backwater” state that is directly responsible for the election of Obama in both 2004 and 2008? Seriously, it must pain you guys in New York City that Ohio decides the president almost every single presidential election. For a “backwater” state it sure the hell gets a lot of attention.

    Oh, sorry if this sounds bitchy, but since you sound like a typical New York City douche bag, I figured I’d respond in kind. The hope in Ohio this year is that those that care enough to stop the bill will be outnumbered by those that care enough to pass it and the rest will not bother to show up. Its an off election cycle, so it will be dictated by about 65% of the voters (if that). The bigger cities (with the exception of Cincinnati and possibly Dayton will hopefully be able to outnumber the smaller rural voters).

    Also, the petition that is being circulated has representation from every single county, and in most cases the people that they appealed to in the counties are strong organizers that had some influence. This is very possibly going to pass in November 2013, and if it doesn’t it should at least be close (coming from a state that passed denial of same-sex relationships in 2004 with 68% of the vote, coming close would be awesome).

  • tdx3fan

    @Badger88: The bigots do not outnumber us anymore in Ohio. They are truly a fringe group. They are counting on a low turn out, and that is part of their plan. The last amendment to affect gay rights in Ohio (which took them away) passed with a huge voter turn out in 2004. When there is a large turn out, it makes a lot of people who could care less either way just mark a box, and they often mark that box based on ignorance of the issue. You really want it to come down to those that are in favor (strongly) versus those who are opposed (strongly) and the prevalence of the get out the vote movement (which is easier to organize in larger cities where we are most definitely the majority — all except one anyways!).

  • tdx3fan

    @Badger88: Badger… no one asked for your national funding. No one desires it. Ohio will take care of Ohio like it always has. However, do not ask me to support your NYC marriage if you are unwilling to support my Ohio marriage…deal!?! Also, Ohio has more than enough money to hold its own because although our salaries might be lower our cost of living is way lower than our salaries. Something you cannot say about NYC!!

  • queerdyke

    The Minnesota State Senate is voting on Monday on an Equal Marriage Amendment. If it passes, Minnesota would be the 12th state to legalize it. I am trying not to get my hopes up to high, but a lot of people are pretty confident that the Senate will pass it. The House passed it on Thursday and they were thought to be the big hurdle.

    While I of course think it would be great if this got passed in Ohio, it seems like maybe the Ohio Democratic Party did not look into what other states where doing in regards to this issue before saying they would be the 12th state to do. Especially if it’s not going to be on the ballot until November.

  • erikwm

    @FStratford: @tdx3fan: Badger88 has a point. There was a reason North Carolina Republicans, after taking control of the state legislature for the first time in over 100 years following the 2010 mid-term elections, put their anti-gay constitutional amendment on the ballot in the May 2012 primary and not the general election in November 2012.

    2.1 million voters turned out for the May 2012 primary when the marriage amendment was on the ballot. 4.5 million voters turned out for the general election.

    We lost 61-39% because it was a low turn out election in May. It would have been much, much closer had it appeared on the ballot in November. Barack Obama received more votes in the general election than the total number cast in the May primary. (2.178 million to 2.157 million)

    You’re welcome to think that didn’t matter, but it did. I’ll be VERY surprised if Freedom to Marry Ohio actually puts it on the ballot this November.

  • gppm1103

    @Dakotahgeo: You’ve obviously never been to Columbus…even Jon Stewart loves it. But nice bitchy queen try….

  • gppm1103

    @tdx3fan: I was born and raised in Columbus and it has always had a big gay population. Bette Midler came here every year in the ’70’s. I live in Ft Lauderdale now but am here for the summer and it is more open and fun than it was back then.

    I think Ohio has a good chance to change the law that Karl Rove foisted on Ohio to get W re-elected, but it is going to take a lot of work in the 6 major counties and a lot of prodding with the progressives in the smaller towns.

    Columbus Pride in June!!!!!

  • Dakotahgeo

    @gppm1103: @tdx3fan: LOLOL… thanks for the compliment but I have indeed been to Columbus, once, and Cleveland… twice!!! Those times were very enjoyable and I would indeed come back for a visit! You both must realize that there are extenuating circumstances in my holding a dim view of your state… one being a Pentecostal extremist in Ohio whom I graduated with from high school. She knows I’m gay and spares no Bible verses disapproving of it. So yes, describing Ohio as a backwater state was a bit harsh, my apologies. I support Ohio’s becoming a Marriage Equality state with all my heart, for many reasons, but if nothing else than to e-mail my “friend,” Sister Jesus Freak on the good news. And believe me, I am profoundly in Ohio’s debt for giving President Obama his re-election victory!
    P.S.: I’m not from New York ;-)

  • rand503

    Winning Ohio is super important:

    1. It’s a state that is one of the most important in national elections. What happens there gets attention everywhere, and politicians take their cues from it. If we take it back, it cements the marriage equality movement and even more politicians on both sides of the aisle will be forced to support it.

    2. The GOP and Karl Rove used Ohio to pass the constitutional ban on gay marriage only to increase the vote in their election. IT was a cyncial strategy to throw gays under the bus just to advance the GOP agenda. Reversing that will be sweet revenge.

    3. The haters at FRC and other groups believe that they will lose the marriage issue in only liberal states, and they proudly and constantly state that many more have actually banned gay marriage. Not all of them have a constitutional ban, which is much more difficult to achieve, but that’s still a feather in their cap. If we reverse Ohio, than that means we can reverse any state, and it means that they cannot rely upon the bans forever. What they thought were done deals are now open battlefields again. It will demoralize their troops greatly. Just announcing that we are taking Ohio back should keep them awake at night.

    If we win this one, expect a flood of reversals in the next two years. I’m looking forward to it!

  • Dakotahgeo

    @rand503: rand503, thank you so much for “educating” me today! You good people from Ohio have indeed been kind and your information needs to be spread far and wide for others to see. I suspect that there ARE other red states that will be changing their minds as well in the near future. Kudos to you all!

  • FStratford


    But why judge Ohio prematurely?

    The surveys are trending their way. Not more than a year ago, Minnesota was trending like Ohio.

    You are sounding like a scaredy cat from that organization with a blue and yellow equality sign.

  • jhutch

    @Dakotahgeo: I likewise have family in Ohio that spares no Bible versus “proving” homosexuality is immoral. Hopefully the evangelical Christians are a minority in OH….

  • jhutch

    @tdx3fan: I sincerely hope this strategy works. It sounds like Ohioans know their state enough to make this call and the rest of us should just hope for the best.

  • jhutch

    @tdx3fan: “Badger… no one asked for your national funding. No one desires it.” I don’t understand your desire to obtain civil rights on your own. As a nation we should stand behind every state’s goal to reach marriage equality. I for one will send what financial support I can afford. I’m a proud New Englander, but want to see Ohio succeed as well. best of luck…

  • T7

    Badger88 is totally right. This isn’t smart at all. Much fewer young people (a.k.a., the people who support gay marriage the most) vote in special elections. What are they thinking? I know people don’t want to wait, but if the measure fails, it will set the movement back. You can just see Bryan Fischer now: “This just goes to show you, the majority of Americans still support traditional marriage.” Better to wait until 2014. Oregon and Colorado are.

  • FStratford


    The counterpoint is MN, which, like OH is Midwestern in culture and temperament. There were Republican majorities in both houses. The vote on gay marriage created Democratic majorities in both the state House and Senate, setting the legislature on the path toward today’s vote – and setting MN up to be the 12 state for Marriage Equality.

    North Carolina was the last state. If Ohioans feel that they have the numbers – people like us should support them and not be like HRC who are too cautious and more than willing to sacrifice other gays in other states for their own “comfort”.

  • Dakotahgeo

    I just thought of a wonderful event: What if, by crazy chance, Ohio became the next state to ratify gay marriage, truly a historic day to make the number “13” the best number out of 13??! Now THAT is something I could handle really, really easy! It may not happen, but we could sure hope!! Best of luck to you all in Ohio!!

  • Dakotahgeo

    @FStratford: I just thought of a wonderful event: What if, by crazy chance, Ohio became the next state to ratify gay marriage, truly a historic day to make the number “13? the best number out of 13??! Now THAT is something I could handle really, really easy! It may not happen, but we could sure hope!! Best of luck to you all in Ohio!!

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