Senator Reed: 104 days ≠ “very shortly”

You may remember after we launched our joint campaign with Marriage Equality Rhode Island, Ocean State Action, and Courage Campaign that Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) told a Providence Journal reporter that he would decide "very shortly" whether or not to cosponsor legislation to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

Or you may not. Because that was 104 days ago- not exactly what we'd consider "very shortly."

Since then, we delivered over 1,000 signatures and dozens of stories from Senator Reed's constituents who are harmed each day by DOMA and hundreds of Rhode Islanders have called his office to ask for his support.

But yesterday, RI's WRNI reported that Senator Reed is still undecided:

"U.S. Senator Jack Reed says he wants to be thoughtful and not rush a decision on whether he will support repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA. The law blocks federal recognition of same-sex marriage, and Reed voted for it back in 1996. When asked whether he supports a bill repealing DOMA, Reed says he's thinking about it."

We appreciate Senator Reed's careful consideration of such an important piece of legislation. But we can't help but wonder what the hold up is, especially when he is the only member of Rhode Island's Congressional Delegation who has yet to cosponsor the Respect for Marriage Act and the majority of his constituents support the freedom to marry.

Our coalition partners at Marriage Equality Rhode Island issued a statement yesterday following WRNI's report calling on Senator Reed to cosponsor DOMA repeal once and for all:

"Sen. Reed is well-respected by leaders from both sides of the aisle, and his support now would lend significant momentum to the effort to end DOMA. Every other member of the Rhode Island Congressional delegation - Sen. Whitehouse, Rep. Langevin, and Rep. Cicilline - have signed on as co-sponsors, and we thank them for demonstrating leadership on this critical issue. It’s time Sen. Reed did the same." 

As DOMA continues to harm thousands of Rhode Island families, it's time for Senator Reed to take a stand. If you live in Rhode Island give his office a call at 202-244-4642 and ask him to please cosponsor the Respect for Marriage Act.