Getting the AG candidates on the record on DOMA in Rhode Island

Paul Sousa has focused his campaign to get state lawsuits filed against DOMA on the candidates for Attorney General in Rhode Island. Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley filed the first anti-DOMA lawsuit last year. (The Obama administration has to file its response to the Massachusetts DOMA suit by April 30th. Let’s hope someone at the Justice Department, like LGBT liaison Matt Nosanchuk, is actually paying attention this time and prevents a repeat of DOJ’s past DOMA disasters.)

Rhode Island doesn’t have marriage equality (yet), but its citizens can get married in other states. And, Rhode Island’s two neighbors, Massachusetts and Connecticut, allow marriage. So, this week, Paul, who had success last week getting all the Democratic AG candidates in Connecticut on-the-record, asked the RI AG candidates if they’d file a lawsuit to find DOMA unconstitutional:

On the Rhode Island Attorney General website, it prominently states, “Protecting our families is a primary concern of the Attorney General.” I would like to know, if elected, would you defend all citizens and families of Rhode Island, including the married same-sex couples here, and file suit against Section 3 of DOMA, which denies all 1,138 federal marriage benefits to married same-sex couples of Rhode Island?

And, yesterday, Paul already had a response:

“If elected Attorney General, Steve Archambault will support Martha Coakley’s efforts through either joining the lawsuit, submitting an amicus brief or providing some other appropriate assistance.”

I have to give Paul a lot of credit. It’s easy to overlook the down ballot races. But, AGs matter. Exhibit A: Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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