Last updated: July 24. 2013 2:11PM - 123 Views

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Portia Williams

PDT Staff Writer

Portsmouth City Councilman Kevin Johnson hosted a petition-signing to raise support for the statewide initiative of Freedom to Marry at his home Saturday.

Along with the petition available for supporters to sign, John provided food for his guests, with Haute Stuff Catering Services as well as wine and other beverages for his guests.

The Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment would repeal and replace Section 11, Article XV of the Constitution to allow two consenting adults freedom to enter into a marriage regardless of gender, give religious institutions freedom to determine whom to marry, and give religious institutions protection to refuse to perform a marriage.

“We now have eight states where it is legal for gay people to be married, and I think its an important aspect of life that we recognize committed couples, I don’t care if they are heterosexual or homosexual. What we look at in regard to couples is their commitment, and I believe its time,” Johnson said.

“Someone actually stopped to sign the petition before they left for the weekend, so the response in Scioto County has been incredible,” Johnson said.

Beck Ratliff said she came to Johnson’s home to support his efforts.

“I am a long time volunteer for progressive causes, and this is just one of the things that I believe we need to work on. I am in support of marriage equality. I think that everyone should have the same rights under the law,” Ratliff said.

Belinda Schaefer was another attendee of the event held at Johnson’s home.

“My son and his boyfriend are here and I believe that they should be able to marry if they wish and have a life together. I just feel that it is very important,” Schaefer said.

Johnson said he was very pleased with the turnout for the Freedom to Marry initiative and has no doubts that his, along with other statewide efforts, will no be in vain.

Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or portiawilliams@heartlandpublications.com

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