Issues > What issues may be coming up in 2013? Know the petition process before you sign a petition!
Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment
3.28.13 - According to a just released poll, a majority of Ohioans support the Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment.
That's right. The Columbus Dispatch published it's most recent polling indicates 54% of Ohioanswant to overturn the 2004 marriage ban and replace it with the Ohio Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment. Just 40% oppose the Freedom Amendment.
Ohio is ready. The time is now!
Please join the growing number of Ohioans who believe our state should be a place where every citizen,
regardless of his or her sexual orientation, is afforded full marriage equality.
Ohio should become a state where everyone can love and marry who they choose.
All of our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews,
friends and neighbors should be able to live and work
with the same rights and benefits as everyone else.
Please join our fight for marriage equality in Ohio and nationwide
by signing this petition to Governor Kasich
US Sen. Rob Portman (OH-R) has endorsed the freedom to marry and
says that while he doesn't plan to take a leadership role in the campaign to overturn Ohio's marriage ban,
he wants to see marriage equality becoming the law in Ohio.
Republican Rob Portman Supports Gay Marriage - ABC News
“I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a
lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad,
the government shouldn't deny them the opportunity to get married,” US Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)
wrote in an op-ed published in the Columbus Dispatch.
3.19.13 - I'm going to let you in on a secret...
I joined Ohio's campaign for marriage equality today.
I did it because I know first-hand the pain of exclusion and being denied basic rights. That's why I'm announcing that I joined the Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom campaign as a co-chair of the Steering Committee.
We are talking about changing the Ohio Constitution with just 46 words, so that any loving couple can get legally married. The beauty of this amendment is that it guarantees religious freedom by protecting the right of religious institutions to marry or not marry whomever they choose.
My friend Zach Wahls has joined me in helping to pass this important Amendment. The author of My Two Moms, Zach became a national advocate for LGBT rights and appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show after delivering a stirring speech to the Iowa House of Representatives in support of marriage equality.
I hope we can count on you to support the Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment and help us win the fight for marriage equality. It's not just my family, but tens of thousands of other families that need your help.
See ya on the road to freedom!
Jen Tyrrell, Co-Chair
FreedomOhio Steering Committee
Key advisors join Ohio's Marriage Equality campaign
Key Obama Operative On-Board - Former Obama for America State Director Greg Schultz joins the campaign Executive Committee to help develop and implement a winning strategy for Marriage Equality. (Source 1: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Key Obama Operative On-Board - Former Obama for America State Director Greg Schultz joins the campaign Executive Committee to help develop and implement a winning strategy for Marriage Equality. (Source 1: Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Educator & Administrative Leader Joins - Mike Moroski joins the campaign as a Cincinnati Steering Committee Co-Chair after being fired as Purcell Marian High School assistant principal for blogging support for Marriage Equality. (Source 2: City Beat)
Interfaith Leaders Join Movement - Muslim, Jewish, and Christian Faith Leaders joined the Ohio Freedom to Marry effort to support the right to marry and to protect the religious freedom cemented in the Amendment. (Source 3: Cincinnati WXIX Fox 19)
Booed Gay Soldier and Husband Help Lead - Josh and Major Steve Snyder Hill (The booed gay soldier from the GOP Presidential debate) have joined this important civil rights campaign and will help lead the effort. (Source 4: Columbus Dispatch) Booed Soldier Joins Ohio Same-Sex Marriage Effort - ABC News - 2.23.13
All this just after FreedomOhio launched our new Mobile App (which you can launch from the link #5 below) for door-to-door canvassing, secured national endorsements including the American Military Partner Association, the Center for Black Equity and had former Buckeye and NFL player Simon Fraser join the campaign.
News & Informational Sources
(1) Cleveland Plain Dealer: Greg Schultz joins the Campaign
(2) City Beat: Mike Moroski lends his leadership to Ohio's Marriage Equality Movement
(3) WXIX Fox 19: Interfaith Leaders embrace Marriage Equality and Religious Freedom Protection
(4) Columbus Dispatch: Josh and Husband Steve Snyder-Hill join the Battle for the Freedom to Marry
(5) Mobile App allows canvassers to cut their turf (create walking lists of voters) in their neighborhood or anywhere in Ohio. It's a GREAT tool that helps the campaign identify supporters across Ohio.
2.17.13 - I wanted to make certain you were one of the first to know that Greg Schultz, former Obama for America (OFA) State Director, has joined FreedomOhio's Executive Committee to help pass the Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment.
Greg brings extensive statewide organizing skills and contacts to our movement and his strategic vision and campaign experience will be invaluable in our efforts to end marriage discrimination in Ohio.
As you know, Greg served as state director for Obama for America for President Barack Obama's re-election in 2012. He also worked to overturn House Bill 194, the legislative effort to restrict early voting hours and locations.
He was recently named Vice President of Business Forward, a non-profit representing many of America's largest and most respected companies. Greg helps to identify, recruit and brief small business owners, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs about meaningful ways to participate in policy debates.
FreedomOhio is the campaign committee that is collecting signatures in order to place the Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment before voters. The amendment would end marriage discrimination in Ohio while ensuring that religious institutions are free to choose whether or not to recognize and perform same-gender marriages.
I look forward to hearing from you and working with you on this road to freedom. I can be reached by phone by calling 614.507.6266 or via email at Ben@FreedomOhio.com.
Ben Deutschle, Chair
FreedomOhio PAC, Executive Committee
Paid for by FreedomOhio, Inc. Mark McGinnis, Treasurer, 545 East Walnut Street, Columbus OH 43215
For a full breakdown of where state laws stand, click here.
Nine states (CT, IA, ME, MD, MA, NH, NY, WA, and VT) plus Washington, D.C. have the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. In 2012, the legislature in NJ passed a freedom to marry bill, and work is now underway to override the governor's veto.
NM and RI explicitly respect out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples, while eight states now offer broad protections short of marriage. CO, DE, HI, IL, NJ, and RI allow civil union, while CA, OR, and NV offer broad domestic partnership. WI has more limited domestic partnership.
With these advances, a record number of Americans live in states that recognize relationships between same-sex couples:
- Nearly 17% of the U.S. population lives in a state that either has the freedom to marry or honors out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples.
- Over 40% of the U.S. population lives in a state with either marriage or a broad legal status such as civil union or domestic partnership.
- Over 42% of the U.S. population lives in a state that provides some form of protections for gay couples.
Gay marriage push ahead of itself in Ohio
Editorial by Brent Larkin - The Cleveland Plain Dealer
1.27.13 - When it comes to same-sex marriage, Ohio might best be renamed Mississippi North.
While the voters' views on gay marriage and civil unions are evolving at an astonishing rate, less clear is whether Ohioans have escaped the Stone Age.
Last November, issues related to gay marriage were on the ballot in five states. Voters in four of those states sided with legalizing same-sex relationships.
And a flurry of national polls taken prior to last November's election showed more Americans now support gay marriage than oppose it. A CBS News survey showed that margin of support at 51 percent to 40 percent. In contrast, eight years earlier, most national polls showed voters' opposition to gay marriage at about 2-to-1.
The same-sex marriage climate in Ohio is less clear. A Washington Post poll in October showed Ohioans supportive by a margin of 52 percent to 37 percent, but a Public Policy Polling survey just a couple of months earlier showed 50 percent to 37 percent opposed.
Ohioans hung out the "You're Not Welcome" sign to bright and talented young people on Nov. 2, 2004.
That's when Karl Rove and Ken Blackwell orchestrated voter approval of an amendment to the Ohio Constitution banning gay marriage -- an amendment that might as well have been designed to guarantee that Ohio retain its high ranking among places with an aging and woefully undereducated population.
Rove hoped the gay marriage issue, approved that day in 11 states, including Ohio and Mississippi, would help re-elect President George W. Bush.
Blackwell hoped the Ohio measure would help elect him governor in 2006.
Even though it was clear from the outset of the 2004 campaign that Ohioans would vote overwhelmingly in favor of the constitutional amendment, the state's three most prominent Republicans -- Gov. Bob Taft and U.S. Sens. George Voinovich and Mike DeWine -- opposed it.
Taft correctly predicted that the gay-bashing amendment would "make it more difficult for us to retain and attract the talented knowledge workers we need to advance Ohio's prosperity in the 21st century."
When, not if, the time arrives to give Ohio voters a chance to right that 2004 wrong, it's unlikely Ohio's current crop of top elected Republicans will have the guts to do what GOP leaders did more than eight years ago.
We may not have to wait long to find out.
A group called FreedomOhio has been working for a year on a ballot issue that would essentially repeal the marriage ban implemented in 2004, while preserving the right of religious institutions not to perform or recognize such marriages.
Ian James, FreedomOhio's co-founder, said he is "99.8 percent certain" the group will obtain the 385,253 signatures needed to place the issue on the ballot -- perhaps by this November.
But problems loom.
So far, the Ohio Democratic Party has stopped short of embracing a 2013 vote on the issue, as has Equality Ohio -- a statewide force in the gay community, with more than 30,000 members.
Absent support from those key constituencies, it's almost impossible to imagine the repeal of Ohio's constitutional amendment -- especially in an off-year election.
Asked if it's premature to attempt to legalize same-sex marriage in Ohio, Equality Ohio Executive Director Elyzabeth Holford answered, "In our opinion, yes. This is a phenomenally important issue that needs to be undertaken with intentionality."
But James seems unmoved by arguments for waiting.
"Telling gay and lesbian couples they have to wait is not a good place to start," he said. "It's a chicken-and-egg approach to politics. This [the gay marriage prohibition] is hurting our state. It's hurting our economy. And there's something fundamentally wrong with telling religious institutions who they can and can't marry."
He's right, of course. But anything less than a perfectly timed and executed campaign would guarantee failure.
Ten states now recognize same-sex marriage. Three times as many prohibit it, but the momentum is clearly headed in the right direction.
Once -- just once -- it would be refreshing to see Ohio behave like a state located above the Mason-Dixon line.
But 2013 is probably at least a year too early to make that happen.
Larkin was The Plain Dealer's editorial director
from 1991 until his retirement in 2009.
- The Ohio Democratic Party Executive Committee endorsed the Ohio Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment during the Executive Committee Meeting held Saturday, December 15, 2012.
- I have endorsed this Amendment as a personal endorsement.
- For those of you interested in endorsing/supporting this Amendment, please click on the endorsement link below.
Amy F. Grubbe
December 10, 2012
As a co-founder of the FreedomOhio PAC and a former Vice-Chair of the Franklin County Democratic Party, I am asking you to please join me, and a growing list of Democratic leaders -- including Chairs Burke (Hamilton), Betras (Mahoning), and Helvey (Delaware) -- in officially endorsing the Ohio Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment. Having your personal endorsement and that of the Erie County Democratic Party will herald in a new and important chapter in the civil rights movement and signal that the time for action is now.
NOTE: I understand that you will have to take this matter before your Executive/Central Committee for a vote. However, if you personally support marriage equality, in the meantime, please personally endorse the Amendment today via our endorsement portal: https://freedomohio.com/endorse.
Earlier this year, President Obama took a courageous stance in supporting the right of two consenting adults to have the freedom to marry, regardless of gender. On May 9th, President Barack Obama said:
"Same-sex couples should be able to get married..... I want everyone treated fairly in this country. We have never gone wrong when we've extended rights and responsibilities to everybody. That doesn't weaken families, that strengthens families."
In offering his strong endorsement of marriage equality, the President clearly stated his unbending support for religious institutions to perform/or not perform, recognize/or not recognize a marriage. Shortly thereafter, the NAACP, Gen. Colin Powell, Jay-Z, and the National Democratic Party, joined in support of the Marriage Equality movement.
The Ohio Freedom to Marry Amendment mirrors the stance for Marriage Equality taken by our President and the National Democratic Party. The Amendment language has been certified by the Ohio Attorney General, unanimously approved by the Ohio Ballot Board and has survived an Ohio Supreme Court challenge. It reads:
In the State of Ohio and its political subdivisions, marriage shall be a union of two consenting adults not nearer of kin than second cousins, and not having a husband or wife living, and no religious institution shall be required to perform or recognize a marriage.
FreedomOhio, has been fortunate to enlist thousands of volunteers to collect signatures, have a dialogue with Ohioans and identify voter support in all 88 counties. These great Ohio volunteers are connecting with their neighbors and families to build broad support every day. What we are finding is the more people talk about "why marriage matters," the greater the shift in public opinion in favor of Marriage Equality. In fact, a recent Washington Post Poll of Ohio voters shows a seismic shift in attitudes with 52% favoring and 37% opposing Marriage Equality.
Without question, there has been a sea change in opinion on Marriage Equality over the past year due in great part because of our President, our Party, and the bravery of our allies (which in large part includes Organized Labor). Political observers recognize that support will continue to strengthen as young voters, African-American, Hispanic and Independent voters share President Obama's views on the freedom to marry.
The Ohio Amendment was carefully crafted by Constitutional lawyers to protect the civil rights of all couples who are committed to one another and who deserve the same basic rights as other married couples. It will provide security to loving families while at the same time, respects religious freedoms. As such, religious leaders and institutions would have the freedom to recognize/or not recognize, perform/or not perform same-gender marriages.
I hope to be able to count you personally (and that of the Erie County Democratic Party) in endorsing the Ohio Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment. Doing so will further underscore that we are a state of inclusion, protectors of civil rights, family security and religious freedom.
Should you have any questions, or want to get involved in the effort beyond endorsing, please feel free to email me at Ian@FreedomOhio.com. Again, in anticipation of your Executive/Central Committee review and consideration of this Endorsement request, please take a moment to personally join our fellow Democratic leaders in endorsing the Ohio Amendment: https://freedomohio.com/endorse.
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss this important matter, and I look forward to seeing you on the road to freedom.
Ian James, Co-Founder
“For the first time in U.S. history, voters affirmed marriage rights for everyone by approving the freedom to marry in Maine, Maryland and Washington,” James said. “In Minnesota voters rejected an effort to continue to inflict continued and unnecessary the tired and mean-spirited rhetoric that has caused so many individuals and families deep personal and financial pain.”
“We believe Ohio voters are open to an ongoing discussion about the need to provide equal marriage rights to all loving couples. We believe Ohioans understand our amendment protects their religious rights at the same time. So we are going to continue to collect signatures with an eye on next November,” James said.
Should Ohioans repeal ban on gay marriage? (Yes)
Yes: Current law denies equal protection to same-sex couples, families
By Mary Jo Kilroy - Friday October 26, 2012 8:28 AM
Former congresswoman who represented Ohio's 15th Congressional District
For the happy couple in love, marriage means solidifying their commitment to one another, declaring that their love is strong and lasting. It means standing before family and friends and becoming a new family that also becomes a part of each other's extended families. Marriage means that through good times and bad, sickness and health, two people are committed to be there for each other, to stay together through old age, 'til death do us part. Yet two people of the same gender who have made this commitment to each other and want to exchange vows in a civil marriage are denied the ability to do so under Ohio law.
Marriage has great significance for our society, as well. The critical role of the bond of marriage for raising a family together and for providing companionship and comfort in senior years is recognized in the form of myriad laws and benefits.
Loving couples of the same gender (and their children) are excluded from these protections simply because of whom each person fell in love with and wants to marry. This discrimination contradicts the promise of our U.S. Constitution, which grants us equal protection under the law. Yet this inequality and discrimination continues in Ohio because of a constitutional amendment that voters approved in 2004, as well as the federal ban that had been enacted by Congress.
It is time to rectify that situation, and Freedom Ohio has begun an initiative campaign to put the issue once again before Ohio voters. The amendment would recognize that an adult can legally enter into civil marriage regardless of the gender of the person he or she loves, provided of course that neither partner has another spouse and that they otherwise follow Ohio's laws on marriage. The amendment explicitly provides that religious institutions would continue to decide for themselves whether or not to perform or recognize a marriage, thus respecting religious freedom while providing fairness to those couples who now are forbidden to marry.
Since 2004, when the Ohio marriage ban was put in place, there have been huge changes in public opinion regarding marriage equality, with President Barack Obama recently announcing his support and 11 states now allowing either civil union or marriage for same-sex couples. This fall, Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota will have statewide votes on marriage issues. Rap artists and professional football players are among the celebrities who have endorsed the freedom to marry. Momentum will continue to grow as more people come to understand what marriage means to their gay and lesbian family members, neighbors, co-workers and friends.
Gay and lesbian couples who have been together for decades should not have to wait any longer for the freedom and dignity of having the ability to marry. The denial of the freedom to marry has very real material consequences. Pensions and Social Security protections that heterosexual spouses receive are denied to same-sex couples. Should one partner pass away, the tax collector does not grant the surviving partner of a same-sex couple the same deductions that a widow or widower in a heterosexual relationship would receive. During the last illness, hospitals may refuse to recognize the relationship. Social Security benefits that a widow or widower might receive are not available to partners of the same gender.
The discriminatory effect of the 2004 marriage ban affects children who have two moms or two dads, as well. Because of that ban, only one of those moms, or dads, is recognized under Ohio law as the legal parent. Without this change, one of the dads or moms in a same-gender couple cannot sign for emergency medical care, or a school field trip, nor can the child receive the benefits of Social Security from both parents, should either die or become disabled.
It is time for Ohioans to choose fairness and justice for all of Ohio's families. Ohio can choose to stand on the right side of history vote to remove the 2004 marriage ban.
Where there is love, let there be marriage.
A bare majority of voters in Florida and Ohio, and nearly half in Virginia, support the right of same-sex couples to wed, according to September Washington Post pollsshowing that the national trend toward accepting such unions has taken hold in these swing states.
The growing support is a sharp departure from eight years ago, when opposition to gay marriage was so widespread that it may have helped tip the scales in favor of President George W. Bush’s reelection. Today, the politics of the issue is murkier.
In Florida, 54 percent of voters think same-sex marriage should be legal, while 33 percent say it should be illegal. In Ohio, 52 percent say it should be legal, while 37 percent say it should be illegal.
In 2004, by contrast, nearly two-thirds of Ohio voters — 62 percent — supported a constitutional amendment defining marriage as “only a union between one man and one woman.” The Ohio ballot initiative may have driven more voters to the polls who then supported Bush, according to exit surveys.
In 2006, 57 percent of Virginia voters supported similar legislation. And in 2008, among Florida voters, 62 percent supported an amendment limiting same-sex marriage in their state.
This year, the issue has hardly registered in the presidential campaign, even though President Obama announced in May that he was in favor of same-sex marriage. Republican challenger Mitt Romney has said he opposes such unions and supports a federal constitutional amendment banning them.
Despite the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage, it still has been a loser at the ballot box, at least through 2010. Six states and the District have legalized such unions through court or legislative action, but dozens more have banned them after the issue was put to a referendum.
Gay rights activists in Maryland, Maine and Washington state hope to break that trend in next month’s election, when voters will be asked whether they want to legalize same-sex nuptials in their states. In Minnesota, voters will be asked if they want to ban gay marriage.
Danny Martin, 54, a former factory worker from Columbus, Ohio, reflected the shifting public attitudes, saying he has had a gradual change of heart on the issue.
“When I was growing up, it was like, you don’t talk about that stuff,” said Martin, a respondent in The Post’s Ohio poll. “Now, we’re more open about it. And I have some friends who are gay, and they don’t come off to me as anybody different than any other people.”
In Virginia, the nine-point gap between those who support and oppose same-sex marriage — 49 percent in favor and 40 percent opposed — represents a significant gain in support compared with a Post poll in May, when 46 thought it should be legal and 43 percent said it should be illegal.
Partisan reactions are consistent across the swing states; about two-thirds of Democrats support legal same-sex marriage compared with a third or fewer of Republicans. In Florida and Ohio, close to six in 10 independents support such unions, while in Virginia the figure is a bit lower at 54 percent.
Age is an important factor: About two-thirds or more of those younger than 40 support legalizing gay marriage in each state. Among voters ages 40 to 49, the figure in Florida is 58 percent, but that dips to under half in Ohio and Virginia. Those ages 50 to 64 appear more divided, with a majority of seniors in Ohio and Virginia opposed to gay marriage.
Link to Ohio's Secretary of State for specific language
|Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom (Resubmission)|
Initiative Petition (PDF)
|3/26/2012||Constitutional Amendment||Repeal and Replace Article XV, Section 11||Certified April 3, 2012|
AG Action (PDF)
What issues may be coming up in 2013? Know the petition process before you sign a petition!
Several statewide issue petitions may be circulated for placement on the 2013 general election ballot. You may view the list of summaries approved by the Attorney General's office by clicking here.
Every day Ohioans are becoming more actively involved in taking new laws passed by the Republican-controlled Ohio House and Senate to the people for our voice and vote at the ballot, as we saw with the SB5/Issue 2 Referendum that was resoundingly defeated by the people of Ohio in November 2010!
As the 2013 election cycle gets underway, there may be a petition coming to your door, available at your post office or local public event for you to consider whether you would like to affix your signature to the petition. There are several petitions circulating already for the November 2013 ballot -- please review specific topics below for links and more information.
Petitioners may begin the initiative process by forming a committee, drafting their initiative and summary, and collecting at least 1,000 signatures of registered voters. (This process is outlined in greater detail in R.C. Chapter 3519, as well as the Secretary of State's website.) Once petitioners meet the signature requirement, they must submit all materials to the Attorney General's Office. The office works on two tracks, simultaneously working with boards of election to get signatures verified and evaluating the submitted summary to determine whether it is a fair and truthful representation of the proposed initiative.
- Volunteers or paid petition circulators gather signatures
- Ohio's Secretary of State validates signatures - petitions sent to counties where signatures collected for verification
- May continue to collect additional signatures while validation occurs (HB194 stayed this)
A SIGNATURE ON A PETITION IS CONSIDERED VALID IF
- the signer is a registered Ohio voter - the person may register to vote or complete a name/address change form and sign a petition at the same time;
- the signer's name and address is same as what is on file at the Board of Elections;
- the signer has signed his/her own name - other information required may be completed by the signature collector; family members cannot sign for other family members (i.e. wives for husbands, parents for of-age children)
- the signer signs the petition designated for his/her county
- the date is correct when signature was collected
Here is a brief description of the types of issues campaigns permitted under Ohio law via citizens actions:
- A referendum is a process to stay a law recently enacted by the general assembly and signed into law by the Governor until the law itself can be submitted to the voters for approval or rejection at a general election. Matters not subject to referendum are (1) laws providing for tax levies, (2) appropriations for the current expenses of the state government and state institutions, and (3) emergency laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety. Ohio Constitution Article II, Section 1d.
- Required to collect 231,149 valid signatures statewide
- Required to collect the valid signatures in at least 44 out of the 88 Ohio counties (3% of voters who cast ballots for the office of governor in that county in the last Gubernatorial election)
- For more details: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/LegnAndBallotIssues/issues/StateReferendum.aspx
2. Initiative - Constitutional Amendment
- If a citizen feels that an issue he or she feels strongly about is not addressed properly (or at all) in the Ohio Constitution, they can follow the procedures outlined in the Ohio Constitution and Revised Code (below) to submit a proposed constitutional amendment to the people of Ohio for a statewide vote.
- Required to collect 385,245 valid signatures statewide
- Required to collect valid signatures in at least 44 out of the 88 Ohio counties (5% of voters who cast ballots for the office of governor in that county in the last Gubernatorial election)
- For more details: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/LegnAndBallotIssues/issues/initiatedamendment.aspx
3. Initiated Statute
- If a citizen feels that an issue s/he feels strongly about is not addressed properly (or at all) in the Ohio Revised Code, s/he can follow the procedures outlined in the Ohio Constitution and Revised Code to submit a proposed law (statute) to the people of Ohio for a statewide vote
- Required to collect 115,570 valid signatures statewide TWICE if legislature doesn’t act when initial 115,570 valid signatures are submitted
- Required to collect the valid signatures in at least 44 out of the 88 Ohio counties (1.5% of voters who cast ballots for the office of governor in that county in the last Gubernatorial election)
- For more details: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/LegnAndBallotIssues/issues/InitiatedStatute.aspx
Information above provided in part by ProgressOhio, Brian Rothenberg, Executive Director, and Ohio Secretary of State's Office website.
NOTE: This information is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as a sole source of information. Persons must comply with all applicable sections of the Ohio Constitution and the Ohio Revised Code. Persons interested in exercising any of the above citizens options are encouraged to consult legal counsel.
Right To Work .... For Less - What 'Right To Work' REALLY means
Right To Work for less intent is very misunderstood.
It is necessary for all of us to know what the consequences of this legislation will be.
It is just like Issue 2/SB5 - it will take away the rights of all Unionists, not just public sector.
What is Right-to-Work?
These statutes are authorized by Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act and allow states to outlaw union shops which require all new employees to join the union after a minimum period after hire.
Right to Work laws are designed to financially cripple the union movement.
Federal law requires unions to represent nonmembers. For example, if a nonunion worker is fired illegally, the union must finance the expensive legal proceedings to defend him/her. Right to Work laws allow workers to enjoy a union's services without paying dues that cover the costs of union negotiations, contract administration and other union-provided job services.
Right to Work laws decrease wages for everyone.
Because workers' organizing rights are diminished in states with Right to Work laws, an average worker earns about $7.131 a year less than workers in free bargaining states ($30,656 versus $37,787). Across the nation, union members earn $9,308 a year more than nonunion members ($41,652 versus $32,344). Clearly, these laws only provide a right to work for less.
Right to Work laws especially harm people of color.
People of color generally benefit the most from union membership. On average, Hispanic union members earn 50% ($224) more each week than nonunion Hispanics; African-Americans earn 31% ($156) more each week if they are union members.
Right to Work states have more poverty, higher infant mortality rates and poorer schools.
Right to Work states have a poverty rate of 13.5%, compared with 12.2% in free bargaining states. The infant mortality rate is 7.94% higher and the uninsured population rate is 15% higher on average in Right to Work states. And Right-to-Work states spend on average $1,680 less per pupil in elementary and secondary schools. The lack of spending results in lower teacher salaries and student test scores - average teacher salaries are $6,943 lower and composite ACT scores are 3.55% lower in Right to Work states.
Right to Work laws endanger workers' physical security.
A union weakened by Right-to-Work laws has less power to act as a force for safer working conditions. More workplace deaths and injuries occur in states with Right to Work laws. According to calculations from Bureau of Labor statistics, the rate of workplace deaths is 41% higher in states with Right to Work laws. And injured workers in those states have fewer benefits to help them recover physically and financially. In 1996, workers compensation benefits were 50% lower in Right to Work states than in free bargaining states.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said:
In our glorious fight for civil rights,
we must guard against being fooled by false slogans as 'right-to-work.'
It provides no 'rights' and no 'works.'
Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining....
We demand this fraud be stopped.
WHAT WILL 'RIGHT TO WORK' for less LAWS DO?
- Allows more government interference with freedoms of private businesses by restricting their right to negotiate with their employees.
- Takes away ability to negotiate fair contracts between employers and employees elected representatives.
- Takes away collective bargaining rights by employees elected representatives who bargain in the best interests on behalf of all employees.
- Gives politicians the final say and too much power on important issues - i.e. staffing, safety equipment, training.
- Allows employees who don't pay dues to receive same benefits as those employees who do pay dues.
- Tilts the balance even more toward big corporations by taking away the voices of every day workers - i.e. police, firefighters, teachers, nurses - to have a collective voice within their workplace.
Does this sound all too familiar?
'Right To Work' for less is Issue 2/SB 5 in disguise.
The attack on middle class workers and their families continues.
WHO IS BEHIND 'RIGHT TO WORK' for less LEGISLATION?
- ALEC - American Legislative Exchange Council -- a group that believes in limited government, free markets and federalism which equates to shipping jobs overseas to a country with the cheapest labor costs and the least (if any) environmental and worker protections.
- Corporate super PACs that have unlimited funds from anonymous donors - $44 million was spent by such PACs in Wisconsin over governor's recall.
- Wealthy special interests who give millions in campaign contributions - i.e. Koch Brothers, two billionaire brothers who have given millions to Wisconsin's Governor and other like-minded governors.
- Ohio Governor John Kasich who attacks Ohio's workers with legislation such as Issue 2/SB 5 and supports changes to workers compensation laws that will hurt injured and sick workers.
- Those supporting 'Right To Work' legislation are - once again - framing their argument in terms of "taxpayers versus unions" and talking about the "balance" between the two.
Just like Issue 2/SB 5, 'Right To Work' for less is another extreme policy
legislators are attempting to pass into law.
Don't be fooled by what three simple words say: 'Right To Work'.
You already have a right to work!
Don't make your right to work a right to work for less!
Click on articles below for more information on this issue:
Notre Dame Profs Dismantle Indiana Study Committee's “Report”
in favor of 'Right To Work'
University of Notre Dame, Professors Barbara Fick and Marty Wolfson
The compensation penalty of “right-to-work” laws
Economists Elise Gould and Heidi Shierholz
Link to Ohio's Secretary of State for specific language
|Freedom to choose whether to participate in a labor organization|
Initiative Petition (PDF)
|1/23/2012||Constitutional Amendment||Adds Article I, Section 22||Certified Feb. 1, 2012|
AG Action (PDF)