Gay rights backers begin marriage campaign in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gay rights supporters say they are starting an education campaign to build support for same-sex marriage in Ohio.

The education initiative is backed by Equality Ohio, the national group Freedom to Marry, the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. The groups held events in Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland on Monday to discuss the effort.

The launch comes as a separate group is seeking to overturn Ohio’s ban on gay marriage, which was supported by 62 percent of voters in 2004.

FreedomOhio’s replacement amendment would allow two consenting adults to marry regardless of gender. It also wouldn’t require churches and other religious institutions to perform or recognize a marriage.

Equality Ohio’s executive director Elyzabeth Holford says the education campaign is separate from the amendment effort.

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