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FreedomOhio Denounced For 'Inaccurate' Claims Regarding Target Marriage Equality Date

Not so fast FreedomOhio? Other pro-equality organizations are calling out FreedomOhio head Ian James for apparently jumping the gun when naming November 2014 as the target date to get same-sex marriage legalized in the state.

Organizations ranging from Equality Ohio, Freedom to Marry, and the Human Rights Campaign are all dismissing James' claim that the 2014 date was a concensus decision, calling his statements "inaccurate."

Drama. 

The organizations released the following statement (provided by BuzzFeed):

A group of state and national organizations leading the fight to win marriage for all families in Ohio and across the country sought to clarify misleading characterizations put forward by Ian James’s Freedom Ohio following a meeting to discuss a strategy for winning the freedom to marry at the ballot box in Ohio.  

However, contrary to the assertions made by Ian James in an unapproved statement, there was no agreement reached to put forward a ballot initiative in 2014 or any other specific date.  Instead, all of the groups in attendance, including Freedom Ohio and nearly a dozen other leading organizations, agreed to work together to talk to Ohio voters about why marriage matters and strengthen our coalition in the months ahead, reserving judgment on the timing of a ballot initiative until a clear pathway to victory could be determined and carried out.  

“Ohio families deserve to win marriage as soon as possible. And our national partners have won marriage equality in 13 jurisdictions. We are putting together a strong, honest coalition and a responsible plan to win,” said Elyzabeth Holford, Executive Director of Equality Ohio.  “We intend to win and will do everything necessary to secure fairness for same-sex couples and their families.”  

“We are committed to winning marriage in Ohio as soon as possible, and to developing the kind of robust campaign that has helped us achieve historic victories across the country,” said Marc Solomon, National Campaign Director for Freedom to Marry.  “What we need to do now is to engage in the real work to increase public support so we can win on the ballot—in 2016, or if possible sooner.”  

“Ian James must have attended a different meeting than the rest of us,” said Marty Rouse, National Field Director for the Human Rights Campaign.  “Representatives from 11 state and national organizations participated in today’s meeting.  Ten of them came away with a clear understanding that we would refrain from deciding on timing until it was responsible to do so.  We’re perplexed as to how Freedom Ohio came away with a different understanding.”    

At the invitation of Equality Ohio, representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio, national ACLU, the Equality Federation, Freedom to Marry, the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, the American Unity Fund and Gill Action convened for today’s conversations to discuss strategy, timing and a plan to win marriage in Ohio. 

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Oof. Looks like somebody's telling tales out of school.

Let's hope these groups can come together and form a plan. We all want the same thing, people. 

 

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