Mon. 4:45pm: Former Ohio AG backing same-sex marriage

COLUMBUS (AP) – A prominent Ohio Republican and former Cabinet member of Gov. John Kasich’s administration said today that he supports an effort to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, contending the prohibition fosters intolerance and creates a roadblock to diversity.

Jim Petro, a former attorney general and former state chancellor of higher education, has a daughter who is gay. She and her wife, who live in Massachusetts, are expecting their first child this fall.

“I believe in marriage equality, and I believe Ohio will be better and have better prospects for economic growth and prosperity if we did not have restrictive language in our constitution as (the ban) provides,” he told reporters at a news conference in Columbus.

Petro was joined by Ian James, the co-founder of FreedomOhio, which is seeking to repeal and replace a 2004 constitutional amendment that prohibits gay marriage in Ohio.

Petro’s endorsement of the repeal effort comes as the group is trying to sway more Republicans to publicly back the campaign.