Columbus--The statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization Ohioans for Growth and Equality will chart a new course for itself following the departure of its leader.
Chad Foust of Columbus became OGE�s board chair immediately after the Issue 1 campaign was launched last summer. He resigned the post effective February 28, putting the group�s treasurer Joe Lacey of Dayton temporarily at the helm.
�The Issue 1 campaign took a lot out of me,� said Foust, �and OGE has reversed course and is now in the middle of strategic planning. I made the decision that in order to do that, OGE needs new leadership.�
Ohioans for Growth and Equality was founded in 2002 to defeat a �defense of marriage act� in Ohio�s legislature and to �promote business growth in Ohio by advocating for equality under the law.�
The DOMA law passed in late 2003. It was followed within months by a petition drive to put the Issue 1 marriage ban amendment on the ballot, where voters passed it in November.
OGE created a spinoff group, Ohioans Protecting the Constitution, to campaign against the amendment.
Foust said that some of OGE�s members have been involved with building a new statewide grassroots consortium that is organizing around a repeal of the amendment, but that OGE�s role in that has not been decided.
Foust also said that earlier predictions that the anti-Issue 1 campaign would have between $20,000 and $25,000 left over have also not turned out.
�There�s no money left from the campaign,� said Foust.
�There were vendors we thought were paid that it turned out they were not, so in the end, some vendors settled for less,� than their invoices.
Foust said that Ohioans Protecting the Constitution will file its final financial report with the Ohio Secretary of State on April 21, which will include a statement that the anti-Issue 1 group has terminated.
�The campaign is in the past,� said Foust, �and now it is time to allow the consortium and other efforts to move on.�
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