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New Ohio gay marriage amendment moves forward

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Supporters of the latest version of a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at overturning Ohio's gay marriage ban can now gather signatures to get the measure on the ballot.

The Ohio Ballot Board agreed Tuesday that the proposed "Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment" contains a single constitutional amendment, clearing the way for the effort to move forward.

The updated amendment includes language requiring that all legally valid marriages be treated equally under the law. It also keeps clergy from being forced to perform a same-sex marriage.

The group FreedomOhio is seeking to repeal and replace Ohio's 2004 prohibition on gay marriage.

The amendment is not related to a federal judge's recent decision ordering Ohio authorities to recognize the marriages of gay couples performed in other states.

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