October 26, 2011
By Adam Bink
As I wrote recently, we delivered petition signatures to Sen. Reed’s office in Rhode Island and DC, urging him to join 31 other Senators in supporting the Respect for Marriage Act.
Nearly a month ago, Sen. Reed was asked about the bill and said he would decide shortly (on an issue that has been around for years, including when he was in Congress voting on it in 1996). He hasn’t, so it’s time to amplify our voice to make sure he hears us.
Below is a note we at the Courage Campaign sent to our members in Rhode Island, and which our coalition partners will also be doing shortly. If you’re a Rhode Islander, or know someone who is, please take a minute to make a call and ask Sen. Reed to co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act.
Last month, you signed our letter to Sen. Reed asking him to support repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. At a press conference the next day, Sen. Reed said, “I’m looking very carefully at it…I think it merits a careful study and that’s what I’m doing and I’m going to do it quickly so that I can come to a conclusion.”
That was nearly a month ago. This issue has been around for years. Now, we have a critical Sen. Judiciary Committee vote coming up next month. All the other members of the Rhode Island delegation and 31 other Senate Democrats are on-board. What’s taking Sen. Reed so long?
Last week, along with our allies at Ocean State Action, Marriage Equality Rhode Island and Freedom to Marry, we met with his staff in Providence and DC to deliver your signatures and talk about DOMA repeal. We told them about constituents in Rhode Island who work hard and pay their taxes, but are treated differently than other couples. Couples like Beth and Elizabeth of North Smithfield, who throw away over $7,000 a year on individual health insurance because DOMA prevents Beth from adding Elizabeth, her legal spouse and love of 26 years, onto her federal health plan.
Maybe Sen. Reed isn’t hearing us because the National Organization for Marriage has launched their own effort to convince Sen. Reed that DOMA is right for Rhode Islanders. If that’s the case, we can’t let our voice be drowned out by homophobes and liars.
Thanks for all you’re doing,Adam Bink
Director of Online Programs, Courage Campaign