GOP’s Petro joins Ohio gay marriage backers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A prominent Ohio Republican says he is supporting an effort to overturn Ohio’s ban on same-sex marriage.

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

At a news conference Monday, Petro joined FreedomOhio in formalizing its intent to seek a constitutional amendment in 2014. The amendment wouldn’t require churches and other religious institutions to perform or recognize a marriage.

Petro says he’s surprised by the reluctance of the GOP to support the issue. He says the party should be for freedom, equality and the notion of commitment.

Petro said his daughter, who is gay and married, lives in Massachusetts and she and her wife are expecting a child.

The amendment’s supporters have been gathering signatures for more than a year.

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