Commissioners endorse proposed marriage equality amendmentWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lucas County Commissioners voted April 16 to endorse the Ohio Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment, becoming the first county in Ohio to officially endorse the proposed amendment.
The ballot initiative seeks to overturn a 2004 Ohio Constitutional Amendment that banned any definition of marriage other than one between one man and one woman. This amendment may be on the Ohio ballot in 2013.
If passed, the amendment would create a provision in Ohio law allowing marriage equality for all Ohioans, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity, while respecting religious freedoms by allowing religious institutions of all types to determine whom to marry and which marriages to perform in their own congregations and buildings, according to a news release from the commissioners’ office.
The decision to endorse was unanimous.
“Equal protection under the law is a fundamental right of all citizens and we must stand against discrimination and do what is right,” Commissioner Carol Contrada stated in the release. “By supporting this amendment, I support the right of all families to be recognized and respected in Ohio.”
“I have been an advocate for civil rights for 50 years and the fight for civil rights does not stop with gender, age, ability or race,” Commissioner Pete Gerken stated in the release. “Now we should extend those rights to marriage equality. What’s right is right is right.”
“True acceptance of all citizens includes marriage equality,” Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak stated in the release. “Strong communities, like Lucas County, provide equal opportunity for all citizens regardless of sexual orientation.”
In 2010, Lucas County extended health care eligibility to domestic partners of county employees, allowing any employee in a committed relationship to ensure that a partner would receive health coverage.