Rhode Island Gay Group Puts Pressure On Senator Reed For DOMA Repeal

Jackreed The LGBT group Marriage Equality Rhode Island has launched a new campaign to get Democratic Senator Jack Reed to support DOMA's repeal.

"Reed is the only member of the Rhode Island Congressional delegation who has yet to cosponsor the Respect for Marriage Act," says the group in a press release.

In response to the plea, Reed's office says he may sign on to the repeal, but also says that the Senator believes nuptials should be left to the states.

That is a pretty standard answer, if you ask me, one that's more aligned with political cowardice than actual equality.

Update: The Courage Campaign, Ocean State Action and Freedom to Marry are also part of the coalition effort to persuade Reed.


  1. Brian says

    Something doesn’t seem right with this story. Nobody would use the excuse that marriage is a state, not federal, issue to explain why they are against repealing doma. In fact the few conservatives against doma often say they oppose it because it intrudes on states rights. Reed’s office would certainly know that, and would come up with a more plausible excuse, and it’s strange that the article writer would say this is a common excuse, when it’s the exact opposite.

  2. Brian says

    Ok, just clicked through the original article, and as expected the towleroad summary is totally wrong. The real story is that reed is currently considering cosponsoring the bill, and his staff mention his consistent support for gay rights and his belief that gay marriage should be up to the states as reasons why he may, and i think probably will, cosponsor the bill. Towleroad inexplicably twists this belief into a reason he wouldn’t support the bill, which is completely nonsensical. And then towleroad compounds the error by saying this completely stupid statement is a common belief rather than a mistaken reading of a simple article, and calls reed a coward to boot.

  3. Ken says

    Given Marriage Equality Rhode Island’s track record, I wouldn’t count on them having any influence on Reed. This is a group that failed to even get a marriage bill voted on in the state legislature. This in a state where over 50% of the public supports marriage equality, where there is more than a 2 to 1 Democratic majority in the legislature, and where there is a pro marriage equality Governor and a gay Speaker of the House. Reed would would be be smart to support the repeal of DOMA but I’m sure it won’t have anything to do with MERI’s campaign.

  4. ohplease says

    “That is a pretty standard answer, if you ask me…”

    Nobody did. How about just accurately reporting the facts?

  5. Glenn says

    Brian, the version of the story that is up now (and it is listed as an “update” so maybe it’s different from when you read it) is actually rather vague as to how Reed’s belief about marriage being a state issue is related to his consideration of support for the bill.

  6. Brian says

    Glen, i should be clearer in my criticism of the blog post. Knowing the senator’s track record, i am sure he will vote to overturn doma. But i agree the article leaves that unclear, probably because it was some staffer who didnt want to make a mistake, so said nothing. But my real beef is that towleroad said doma supporters often say marriage is a state issue, and attribute that to reed. And anyone vaguely familiar with the politics of gay marriage would know that nobody ever supports doma due to marriage being a state issue. The article makes clear that reed is a strong supporter of gay rights and believes marriage is a state issue, which is basically signalling that reed will vote to overturn doma. Towleroad drew the opposite conclusion, which misreads the rticle nd shows a serious lack of understanding of this key gay rights issue.

  7. PQ says

    Please understand why marriage equality was blocked in the legislature. It was because Senate President Theresa Paiva-Weed would not move on the issue. The blame goes to Paiva-Weed and the Senate. This is the bottom line.