It looks like 2014 will see a ballot initiative in Ohio that seeks to repeal the 2004 constitutional amendment that was passed by referendum to ban same-sex marriage in the state. You can learn more about the ballot initiative and how to support it here. The text of the issue to be put to the vote is here.
That movement got a boost yesterday when a high-profile figure in state Republican politics Jim Petro (who has been Attorney General and State Auditor and ran unsuccessfully for governor) endorsed same-sex marriage and signed the petition to place the repeal measure on the ballot. It turns out that Petro has a lesbian daughter who got married in Massachusetts and is now expecting a child, somewhat like the case of Ohio Republican senator Rob Portman who switched his position on this issue after learning that his son was gay.
Opponents of same-sex marriage are downplaying the significance of this latest defection and say that they are confident that the ban will not be overturned. But it surely has to be worrying to them that all the high-profile defections have been one way only, from anti same-sex marriage to pro. I cannot think of a single case that went the other way.
The decision to put this on the ballot in 2014 is not without risks or dissension on tactics within the ranks of same-sex marriage supporters. Some feel that the time is not yet ripe in Ohio and this has a better chance of passing in the presidential election year of 2016 where turnout is larger.
Meanwhile Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore acknowledged that what we are seeing is a sea change in attitudes and that conservative evangelical Christians had better get used to the fact that their numbers are shrinking.
“For a long time, social conservatives in America had kind of silent majority view of ourselves, and conservative evangelicals and conservative Roman Catholics had a moral majority view of ourselves as we somehow represents the mainstream of American culture, most people really agree with us, except for some elites somewhere.”
“That really isn’t the case,” Moore added. “I think we need to start seeing the fact that we’re very similar to the way the Christian church was at the very beginning of its existence, a minority of people who are speaking to the larger culture in ways that are sometimes going to seem freakish to that larger culture.”
One more sign that the religious realize that they are slowly but surely losing ground.