Former Ohio Attorney General and State Auditor Jim Petro on Monday publicly endorsed a campaign to repeal the state's ban on same-sex marriage.


At a press conference, Petro said the ban was "inspired by vote getting reasons more than anything." He said it was "bad for Ohio to take a lead in something that was intentionally intolerant."

Petro said he supported the Ohio Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment. The amendment to the state's constitution would repeal an amendment approved by voters in 2004 that banned same-sex marriages and civil unions.

Petro added that he was "surprised that Republicans seem to be so hesitant to become engaged in this, because Republicans should be for freedom."

"They should be for equality, and they should be supportive of the notion of commitment," he continued. "The one thing that always surprised me a little bit is that we would say we don't want to verify a commitment that you're willing to make to a person who you care deeply for, who you love, and who you want to spend the rest of your life with, and you're willing to make that commitment to care for one another in sickness and in health -- that is a good thing. I don't care what the genders are."

Freedom to Marry Ohio, the group behind the amendment, needs to obtain 385,245 valid signatures by July 3, 2014 before the repeal is decided by Ohio voters.

“This endorsement shows that the tide is turning in favor of marriage equality in Ohio," said Ian James, Freedom Ohio co-founder. "We are grateful that Jim Petro is providing leadership to his fellow Republicans in making the conservative case for marriage equality. I look forward to seeing this amendment on the ballot in 2014, and with this endorsement, we move one step closer to bringing marriage equality to Ohio."

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by OhioCapitalBlog, below: