The former Ohio attorney general, a Republican who oversaw the state’s enactment of a constitutional ban prohibiting same-sex marriage or civil unions, announced his support for marriage equality at a press conference Monday.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, Jim Petro, who served as attorney general from 2003 to 2007, appeared at an event with the group FreedomOhio, which is spearheading an effort to overturn Ohio’s same-sex marriage ban.
Petro is the second high-profile Republican official in Ohio to endorse marriage equality this year; Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) announced his support in March. Like Portman, Petro cited his children’s orientation as the primary reason he reconsidered his earlier opposition to equality. Petro has a daughter who married her partner last year in Massachusetts.
Petro and Portman’s support for marriage equality could prove influential as FreedomOhio attempts to put the matter before voters in the 2014 general election. The group must first gather 385,245 signatures from Ohio voters to get on the ballot.