Ohio gay marriage backers spotlight GOP's Petro


COLUMBUS — A group seeking to overturn Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage is spotlighting a prominent Republican as it continues its push toward the 2014 ballot.

Republican Jim Petro is a former Ohio auditor, attorney general and state chancellor of higher education.

He is scheduled to appear at news conference today where FreedomOhio is formalizing its intent to seek an amendment next year giving same-sex couples the same legal rights as heterosexual couples.

The group wants to overturn the state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which was supported by 62 percent of Ohio voters in 2004.

The amendment wouldn’t require churches and other religious institutions to perform or recognize a marriage. Its supporters have been gathering signatures for more than a year to get the issue before voters.