Supporters of ban on civil unions submit petitions

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Supporters of a constitutional amendment to ban civil unions or a similar legal status to unmarried couples have enough signatures to get the proposal on the November ballot, the group's president said today.
Citizens for Community Values will submit the petitions to Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell by Wednesday's deadline, said Phil Burress, president of the Cincinnati-based group. The group was waiting for overnight delivery of more completed petition forms but is confident the total is more than the required 323,000 to qualify for the Nov. 2 election.
The proposal commonly called a gay marriage ban applies to all unmarried couples and would prohibit any legal status "that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage."
Amendment opponents will review the petitions carefully to ensure the rules were followed, said Alan Melamed, campaign manager for Ohioans Protecting the Constitution, a political action committee formed last month. The group is planning its campaign, including radio and television ads, if enough signatures of registered Ohio voters are verified.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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