Will Senator Casey listen to his constituents

Today, Freedom to Marry, Courage Campaign, and Equality Pennsylvania will deliver over 2,400 signatures to Senator Bob Casey's office in support of the Respect for Marriage Act. The signatures are part of a joint campaign that we launched in the beginning of October alongside David and David, a legally married couple from Central Pennsylvania who are denied critical protections under the so-called Defense of Marriage Act.

Here's what Marc Solomon, our National Campaign Director, had to say about today's signature drop off:

“Fair-minded citizens across the state of Pennsylvania have spoken out and asked Senator Casey to support the repeal of the discriminatory so-called Defense of Marriage Act.  Gay and lesbian couples and their families are harmed every day by a lack of access to marriage and by a law that does not acknowledge their love and devotion to one another. We hope that Senator Casey will demonstrate his commitment to protecting all families and join us in repealing DOMA.” 

In the past month, thousands of fair-minded Pennsylvanians from across the state have added their names, voices, and personal stories to our campaign to secure Senator Casey's cosponsorship. We've heard personal, compelling stories and comments from Pennsylvanians who want their Senator to cosponsor DOMA repeal:

“My partner Doug and I have been together for 17 years. We met in Kansas City, but for 11 years we've lived in central Pennsylvania. We've built a good life together and done everything we can legally to protect ourselves. In a few weeks, we plan to travel to New York state to get married. My mother will go with us, and a close friend will serve as our witness. It will be a nice event that has been a long time coming. But we will come home to Pennsylvania, where we will have no rights as a married couple. Because of DOMA, we can't have equal rights. We've done the work that married couples do, and we have stayed together longer than most of the couples we know. Isn't commitment and longevity what we as a society strive for in the institution of marriage? Please sign the Respect for Marriage Act. Please do your part to end discrimination against same-sex couples.” –James from Northumberland, PA

“I got out the vote for you, in Labor to Labor walks and phone banks, Senator Casey.  My wife and I have donated hundreds of dollars to the DSCC, to help get you elected.  We supported you as Democratic Committee people in the 19th Ward, Pittsburgh.  Please do the right thing here, not the Republican thing.” –Mike from Pittsburgh

“At the time of the 2006 election I had just bought my home in New Britain PA, but I was commuting each weekend from NY where I was still teaching, Monday through Friday. I drove all the way from NY to PA on Election Day to vote for Bob Casey because I could not stand the crazy right wing antics of Rick Santorum. I am fortunate that my son and his partner still live in NY where they are planning their wedding for next December. Now it is time for their marriage to be recognized by the country in which they live. It is time that in a country where one or both of them can openly serve in the US military and risk death for their country, that they have all the rights bestowed on other citizens with the right to marry whomever they love. It is time for Senator Casey to co-sponsor the bill to repeal DOMA and live up to the kind of man I drove 6 hours to help elect as my Senator.”–Ida from New Britain

It's hard to imagine that Senator Casey will be silent after hearing these and many other personal stories that we'll present him with today. Today's campaign is part of our ongoing, aggressive effort to grow the number of cosponsors for the Respect for Marriage Act in the House and Senate. We've already successfully urged Senator Barbara Mikulski to get on board and we're also working with our coalition partners in Rhode Island to call on Senator Jack Reed. In the coming weeks, we'll be launching additional campaigns focused on targeted legislators.

We'll keep you updated today as our Federal Director Jo Deutsch drops off the signatures at Senator Casey's DC office. 

––––UPDATE 2:21 PM EST–––––

Our Federal Director Jo Deutsch just met with one of Senator Casey's staffers and dropped of the 2,400+ signatures from PA residents in support of the Respect for Marriage Act! Equality Pennsylvania's Executive Director Ted Martin, along with Greg and Chuck King, a Pennsylvania couple who married in Connecticut, dropped off the signatures at Senator Casey's Harrisburg office earlier today.

Here's Jo outside of Senator Casey's office: