Rhode Islanders call on Senator Reed to cosponsor the Respect for Marriage Act

Since the launch of our joint campaign with Marriage Equality Rhode Island, Ocean State Action, and Courage Campaign last week, over 1,000 Rhode Islanders have called on Senator Jack Reed to cosponsor the Respect for Marriage Act. Freedom to Marry members across the state have signed our open letter to the Senator and shared their personal stories of why marriage matters to them. As we told you last week, we know the pressure is working! Senator Reed's office has said that he will make a decision "very quickly."

Along with our coalition partners, we'll continue to mobilize more Rhode Islanders to take a stand against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and will personally deliver these signatures and stories to Senator Reed's office in the coming weeks. As we saw with our successful campaign to enlist Senator Barbara Mikulski as a cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, the stories of real couples and fair-minded constituents have the power to change the hearts and minds of elected officials. Check out this sampling of stories and comments that Freedom to Marry members in Rhode Island have sent to their Senator in the past week:

"Sen. Reed - you once told me that you believe in equal rights for gay people. Now is the time to show it by supporting our right to the same rights you enjoy. Please help end DOMA which has caused so much suffering." -Susan

"Like Pat and Deborah, my partner and I were let down by the RI Marriage Equality vote.  We've been together 34 years and need the protections afforded by Federal and State marriage equality legislation.  DOMA's existence codified discrimination into law.  Such a policy flies in the face of what our country stands for.  We want "...liberty and justice for all." Larry & David

"Senator Reed, My partner and I have spent decades building our relationship and our family.  We work hard, pay our taxes, and contribute to Medicare and Social Security.  I need to be sure that my family will be taken care of.  The laws as they are now will not  protect my family.  They will only protect a heterosexual family.  I respectfully request that you cosponsor the  Respect for Marriage Act and end DOMA as soon as possible.  Thank you." -Melissa

"As a senator who can be counted on to do the right thing, I hope you can also be counted on to do the right thing for my rights.  I want my marriage to my husband recognized by the United States government.  We should all be afforded the dignity for which this recognition provides. -Peter 

"I hold you in high esteem, Senator Reed, because you are a man of integrity.  Gays and lesbians want to marry for the same reasons everyone does...to make a lifelong commitment to the one they love and to legally protect their familes.  We are geninely caring and concerned American citizens who want nothing more and, certainly, nothing less, than the rights and legal protections afforded our heterosexual brethren.   I respectfully ask that you sign on as co-sponsor, The Respect for Marriage Act.  Simply put, it's the right and moral thing to do. Thank you for your service and consideration." -Mary

If you live in Rhode Island and haven't signed the letter yet, please click here to add your name now. 

We know that connecting lawmakers with the stories of their constituents is the most effective way to grow support for ending federal marriage discrimination, which is why our aggressive federal program will employ similar tactics around the country to increase the number of cosponsors of the Respect for Marriage Act. We've already seen success in Maryland with Senator Barbara Mikulski and just yesterday, we joined with Equality Pennsylvania and Courage Campaign to ask for Senator Robert Casey's support. With the help of Freedom to Marry members across the country, we're getting closer each day to ending this discriminatory law once and for all.