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Equality Ohio Announces Ohio Coalition in Support of the Freedom to Marry

For immediate release:
February 14, 2012  

For more information contact:
Ed Mullen, Executive Director (614) 607-3067 / (614) 224-0400
Zac Branstool, Communications Director (614) 507-2656 / (614) 224-0400

Columbus -- Equality Ohio is pleased to announce on this Valentine’s Day the formation of a grass roots coalition in Ohio to support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.

“The Columbus City Council, with the help of Mayor Coleman, has worked to make Columbus the most inclusive city possible for people of all sexual orientations," said Council President Andrew J. Ginther.  "In the last few years, we have amended the City Code to fight discrimination based on gender identity and have paved the way for domestic partners to receive city benefits.  These are good steps, but as Columbus City Council President, I know there is still more that must be done to ensure that all in our community are treated as equals.  That is why I support the Freedom To Marry Coalition and urge my colleagues and others in Columbus to do the same.”

Ginther, Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady and former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Tim Hagan  will serve as State Co-Chairs of the Ohio Leaders for Freedom to Marry.

“In 2004, Ohio amended its constitution to deny same-sex couples the right to marry.  Since 2004, many people in Ohio and around the country have come to realize that same-sex couples in loving and committed relationships should have the freedom to marry,” says Ed Mullen, Executive Director of Equality Ohio.  “This grass roots coalition sprung organically from the community and demonstrates that achieving marriage equality in Ohio is only a matter of time.”

Equality Ohio, with grass roots support from individuals and organizations, will continue to urge elected officials, candidates for office, community leaders and business owners to support marriage equality.  By granting LGBT individuals the same rights as everyone else, cities and states can help to create a loving, safe and family-friendly environment -- which helps to retain talent and grow both the population and the economy.

This widespread public support for the freedom to marry from community leaders will make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people feel more at home in Ohio.  It is also a step further in the journey to full equality for the LGBT community in Ohio.

The following is a partial list of supporters who have pledged themselves to the cause as of February 14, 2012:

Franklin County and Surrounding Regions:

Candidate for the Ohio House of Representatives - District 20 Marco Miller
Candidate for the Ohio House of Representatives - District 17 Mike Curtin
Candidate for Franklin County Recorder Terry “TJ” Brown
Dirty Frank’s
Franklin County Democratic Chairman Greg Schultz
Franklin County Commissioner Marylin Brown
Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady
Franklin County Treasurer Ed Leonard
Franklin County Clerk of Courts Maryellen O'Shaughnessey
Gahanna City Council Member Ryan Jolly
Gahanna Lincoln School Board Member and Candidate for the House of Representatives District 20 Heather Bishoff
J. Gumbo’s
Jeni’s Ice Cream
M/I Homes
New Leaf Columbus
Non Profit Revolution
OH-3 Congressional Candidate Mary Ko Kilroy
OH-3 Congressional Candidate Joyce Beatty
OH-3 Congressional Candidate Bob Fritakis
OH-3 Congressional Candidate Ted Celeste
OH-12 Congressional Candidate James Reese
Outlook Media
President of Columbus City Council Andrew Ginther
Robby W. Stephens Agency of American Family Insurance
State Senator Charleta Tavares
State Representative Carlton Weddington
State Representative Nickie Antonio
The Jury Room
Tiger Tree
Wholly Craft
Zapico Foods

Outside of Franklin County:

Cincinnati City Council Member Chris Seelbach
Dayton City Commissioner Nan Whaley
Former State Auditor Candidate David Pepper
Mayor Don Plusquellic of Akron
Mayor Mark Mallory of Cincinnati
Mayor Frank Jackson of Cleveland
Mayor Edward Kelley of Cleveland Heights
Mayor Sara Drew of Stow
Mayor David Berger of Lima
Mayor Mike Summers of Lakewood
Mayor Gary Norton of East Cleveland
Mayor of Canton William Healy II
OH-5 Congressional Candidate Angela Zimmann

The list of supporters of the freedom to marry in Ohio will soon be public online and continually updated with new supporters.

For more info on the coalition please visit www.freedomohio.com

Equality Ohio advocates and educates to achieve fair treatment and equal opportunity for all Ohioans regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.  For more information, visit www.equalityohio.org or call us at (614) 224-0400.

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