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Published: Friday, 10/22/2004

High court rejects bid to block Issue 1

BY BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Supreme Court yesterday rejected the last legal attempt to prevent a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage from being on the Nov. 2 ballot.

In a 6-1 decision, the high court dismissed the case, filed by gay-rights activists and their allies to prevent Issue 1 from being put on the ballot.

The reason: the court didn't have jursidiction over the broad request sought by Issue 1 opponents and the alleged defect under state law in the initiative petition had to be resolved no later than 40 days before the election, which was Sept. 23.

Opponents of Issue 1 had said the initiative petition was invalid because it did not have the required summary and approval from the state attorney general. Justice Paul Pfeifer dissented. "It is a seductively easy slide from the golden fortress of judicial restraint to the desolate valley of judicial indifference. In this case, this court has been seduced into the valley by hypertechnical arguments that cause it to disregard the initiative petition's clear statutory violations.''



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