COLUMBUS - Two months after the legislature approved a "Choose Life" license plate sought by anti-abortion activists, motorists soon may have the choice of a "One Nation Under God" special plate.
Yesterday, two GOP legislators introduced bills to create the plate at the request of a year-old political action committee, Moms for Ohio PAC. The group said it wants to show support for the reference to God in the Pledge of Allegiance.
The PAC was formed a year ago in response to the lawsuit that California atheist Michael Newdow filed because he didn't want his young daughter exposed to the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.
He won on the federal appeals court level, but the U.S. Supreme Court last year dismissed the case. Last month he refiled the lawsuit in federal court in Sacramento, Calif., with eight co-plaintiffs.
"Families, faith, and freedom are the foundation of this country," said Theresa Fleming, a Strongsville, Ohio, resident who is director of Moms for Ohio PAC. "They are what makes people from all over the world want to come to the United States. That is worth standing up for."
Mrs. Fleming, a 42-year-old who is the mother of two children, is a Republican but said the PAC's executive board includes Democrats. Moms for Ohio PAC has about 300 members, most of them in northeast Ohio, she said.
State Rep. Thomas Patton (R., Strongsville), who introduced the "One Nation Under God" bill in the House yesterday, said that the plate also would feature a U.S. flag.
"When Congress added 'One Nation Under God' to the Pledge of Allegiance, they did it with unanimous support. Now our pledge is under attack," Mr. Patton said.
The bill has 27 co-sponsors in the 99-member House. A companion bill introduced by state Sen. Bob Spada (R., North Royalton) has 29 co-sponsors in the 33-member Senate.
Last year, Moms for Ohio PAC contributed $100 each to the campaign funds of Mr. Patton and Mr. Spada.39.96196 -83.00298