Equality Ohio Announces Launch of 'Why Marriage Matters'

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This morning in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, Equality Ohio organizers gathered to announce the launch of Why Marriage Matters Ohio campaign.

This development reels in similar efforts at promoting marriage equality in Ohio, forming a coalition to achieve that result. One element of the campaign involves highlighting the people whom marriage equality legislation would impact most. Ohio families and their stories are shared at the newly designed website, displaying the breadth of love across the state.

The Rev. Tim Ehrends, speaking at the event in Columbus, noted that Ohio's marriage laws will have at least some impact on the state's net population loss. For years now, Ohio has been treading along at microscopic population growth. Census data warns of an impending overall decrease in the coming years.

Similarly, Dawn Hanson of the Fairmount Group added: "We need to be able to attract and retain qualified people and marriage equality is critical to that."

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From a June 2013 Scene feature on LGBT rights:

In 2004, Ohio voters took up the mantle of then-Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and human thumb Karl Rove, and certified a statewide ban on gay marriage. The ban passed with 62 percent of the vote.

A recent opinion poll cites support for marriage equality at 54 percent (compared to 40 percent opposed). That's the most visible sign of the shift in consciousness from the general public. But it touches on just one issue.

In the wake of Issue 1's passage, an organization based around statewide LGBT rights formed. Elyzabeth Holford, the current and fourth executive director of Equality Ohio, is certainly hopeful that the ban will one day be reversed in this state. But she and her organization are tailoring their efforts elsewhere now. Equality Ohio is, in fact, not outright supporting the current signature-gathering effort aimed at a 2014 referendum. Rather, the group has been lobbying state legislators to move forward with (the Equal Housing and Employment Act).

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