Harry Reid on Gay Marriage

Last Updated : Jun 13, 2010

Summary

Senator Reid is a member of the mormon church and has stated that he agrees with the church's position that marriage is between one man and one woman.  He voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act but against a constitutional amendment to make marriage between one man and one woman.

When California passed a ballot measure banning same-sex marriage, the Mormom church (Church of Latter Day Saints) heavily backed the initiative and members of the church all over the nation contributed to the effort.  Senator Reid stated that he was not supportive of his church's actions and stated that it was harmful to the church to focus on such a divisive issue.  He also stated that the efforts put into passing the ballot measure were a waste of resources and good will.

Senator Reid is a strong advocate for overturning "Don't ask, don't tell" and allowing gays to serve openly in the military.

 

Proposition 8 in California

In the November 2008 elections, California passed proposition 8.  This proposition did the following three things according to supporters of the bill:

  • It restored the definition of marriage to what the vast majority of California voters already approved in prop 22 and what Californians agree should be supported, not undermined.
  • It overturned the outrageous decision of four activist Supreme Court judges who ignored the will of the people.
  • It protected our children from being taught in public schools that “same-sex marriage” is the same as traditional marriage, and would prevent other consequences to Californians who will be forced to not just be tolerant of gay lifestyles, but face mandatory compliance regardless of their personal beliefs.

The measure was highly contentious and support for both sides came from all across the nation.  The Mormon church - The Church of Latter Day Saints - was heavily supportive of the bill and funds from members of the church provided millions of dollars to the efforts to pass the legislation.  After the measure passed, many of those who opposed the measure blamed the mormon church.  Senator Reid (who is a member of the church) was asked about his feelings on the church's involvement by Derek Washington - a director of an equality march to oppose the measure - Senator Reid made the following statement:

Senator Reid's spokesman, Jon Summers, reiterated those feelings:

 

Don't ask don't tell

Senator Reid has supported the repeal of don't ask, don't tell.  He stated that we should not turn anyone down who is willing to serve in the military - especially due to sexual orientation.

 

 

Voting Record

2006 Constitutional Amendment

In 2006 the Senate voted on adding a constitutional amendment which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and ensured to no state would be capable of conferring marital status on a union other than a man or a woman. Harry Reid voted against the 2006 amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Harry Reid voted against the 2006 amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

2004 Constitutional Amendment

In 2004 the Senate voted on adding a constitutional amendment which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and ensured to no state would be capable of conferring marital status on a union other than a man or a woman. Harry Reid voted against the 2004 amendment to define marriage as one man and one woman.

Harry Reid voted against the 2004 amendment to define marriage as one man and one woman.

Defense of Marriage Act

In 1996, the Defense of Marriage Act passed the Senate with the support of 100% of the Republicans and roughly 2/3 of the Democrats. The bill defined marriage as a union between 1 man and 1 woman, and stated that no jurisdiction would be required to honor the marriage betweeen two men or two women which was granted in another jurisdiction. Harry Reid voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Harry Reid voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-S 4023; Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 - Cosponsor

Provides for repeal of the current Department of Defense (DOD) policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces, to be effective 60 days after the Secretary of Defense has received DOD's comprehensive review on the implementation of such repeal, and the President, Secretary, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) certify to the congressional defense committees that they have considered the report and proposed plan of action, that DOD has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to exercise the discretion provided by such repeal, and that implementation of such policies and regulations is consistent with the standards of military readiness and effectiveness, unit cohesion, and military recruiting and retention. Provides that, until such time as the above conditions are met, the current policy shall remain in effect.

References

[1] Website: The Salt Lake Tribune Article: Reid rips LDS Church's Prop. 8 support Author: Matt Canham Accessed on: 06/13/2010

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