RIPR News
7:48 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Same-sex marriage groups lobby Reed

PROVIDENCE, RI – A coalition of same-sex marriage groups wants U.S. Senator Jack Reed to join the rest of Rhode Island's congressional delegation in backing federal recognition for same-sex marriage.

Reed supported the Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, when it became law in 1996. That measure prevents federal marriage benefits for same-sex couples in healthcare, taxes, and other areas. As it stands, Reed is the only member of the state's congressional delegation absent as a co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act, which would undo DOMA.

Marriage Equality Rhode Island campaign director Ray Sullivan says Reed more recently backed the repeal of a ban on gays openly serving in the military.

"The senator, we believe, has stepped up on a number of occasions and supported LGBT Rhode Islanders and efforts to extend equal rights, so we're hopeful and confident that he'll do the same thing here," says Sullivan.

Besides Marriage Equality, the groups pressing for his support are Freedom to Marry, Courage Campaign, and Ocean State Action.

UPDATE: Reed's press secretary Chip Unruh responded to our queries with the following email:
"This is an important issue. The senator always appreciates hearing from Rhode Islanders and takes their input into consideration."

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@wrni.org.