Thursday, May 6, 2004

Lawsuit fights gay-marriage petition drive



The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - A legal rights advocacy group Wednesday asked a judge to stop a petition drive to place a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages in Ohio on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Ohioans for Growth and Equality, a Cleveland-based group that claims 5,000 members, filed the lawsuit on behalf of a gay couple, said the chairman, Tim Downing.

"The summary of this amendment is both inaccurate and misleading as well as inflammatory," Downing said. "It would forever bar any legal status for unmarried couples, regardless of sex."

Attorney General Jim Petro said on April 29 that the proposed ballot language "is a fair and truthful statement of the measure."

The petitioners must submit 322,899 valid signatures of registered voters - 10 percent of the total vote in the 2002 election for governor - to Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell by Aug. 4 to qualify for the November ballot.




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