COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Former Ohio Attorney General and State Auditor Jim Petro has announced his support for amending Ohio’s constitution to overturn a 2004 ban on same-sex marriage.
Petro is the highest profile Republican to support the issue. Senator Rob Portman announced support for same-sex marriage, but not specifically this amendment.
Petro says blocking gay marriage shows Ohio is intolerant. He says same sex marriage would be good for Ohio and its image.
"Government should be all about equality. If there is faith issues and faith-based issues around, that's a religious component, but that's not government," Petro said.
Petro says he will be actively involved in the campaign for a 2014 ballot initiative to overturn the 2004 constitutional ban on same sex marriage.
He hopes fellow Republicans will come around to his view point in support of gay marriage. Petro thinks the likelihood of a repeal grows each year.
"I think eventually we'll see it repealed. From my perspective the sooner the better," he said.
Petro's daughter is gay. She married her partner in Massachusetts. He believes the 2004 ban on gay marriage is one reason she decided to stay in Massachusetts and not return to Ohio.
The issue could have an impact on the 2014 race for Ohio governor. Democrat Ed FitzGerald has supported it. Petro, who served as Chancellor of the Board of Regents on the cabinet of Gov. John Kasich, says he's discussed the issue with his former boss.
"You could sense that he is dealing with it thoughtfully, but he does not share my view," Petro said.
Petro was also a candidate for governor in 2006 when he lost in the primary to Ken Blackwell who then lost to Ted Strickland.