Wednesday, October 20, 2004

ABC-TV anchor turns camera on Cincinnati

By Lauren Bishop
Enquirer staff writer

Peter Jennings prepares for his evening broadcast from Devou Park in Covington on Tuesday.
The proposed amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Ohio was the focus of an ABC World News Tonight story Tuesday that Peter Jennings anchored from Covington's Devou Park.

The visit was part of a four-city tour focusing on swing states in the November presidential election. Jennings moves on to Cleveland tonight.

With a foggy view of Cincinnati's skyline behind him, Jennings opened the piece with a University of Cincinnati poll that puts President Bush and Democrat John Kerry in a statistical dead heat among Ohio voters.

Jennings said the president's faith in Jesus endears him to social conservatives here, and that his administration belives the initiative to ban gay marriage may catch the tide that will carry him to victory.

WCPO video, interviews with Peter Jennings
"The level of interest in the election here is incredible," Jennings said over shots of downtown Cincinnati. "It's all about turnout now, and faith is one of the fault lines here."

Jennings interviewed Phil Burress, president of Sharonville-based Citizens for Community Values - asking him if he thought the amendement could hurt Ohio's economy. Burress said it would not and called marriage "the most important institution ever created in the history of the world." When state lawmakers would not place the issue on the ballot, Citizens for Community Values gathered more than 550,000 signatures to put the measure before voters.

The piece also featured Christopher Long, executive director of the Westfield Center-based Christian Coalition of Ohio, and a spokesman for the group Ohioans Defending the Constitution, who said the amendment would take away rights from heterosexual couples who don't want to marry.

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