RI PowerPlayer: Christopher Plante
Monday, March 04, 2013
You are the Regional Coordinator for the National Organization for Marriage. How is your organization impacting the state?
NOM is continuing to develop its grassroots organization across the state. We keep them informed through email and in person about developments in the marriage debate at the State House and on the national level. We also have dynamic social media platforms on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/riformarriage) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/nomri). Through all these communication methods, we educate and encourage voters to contact their elected representatives, as well their friends and family, about the importance of protecting and promoting one man/one woman marriage for our children, communities and state.
Much has been made over the past few weeks regarding whether or not Rhode Island voters should decide the issue of same-sex marriage at the polls. Why does your organization believe this should be an issue left to voters?
Rhode Islanders have had the opportunity to vote on whether we should approve casinos, ports, and even changing the name of the State. Marriage is more fundamental to the well-being of our children and our State’s future than any of these issues. Further, polling has shown that 74 percent of Rhode Islanders believe the voters, not the Legislature, should be the ones to decide the definition of marriage, as have voters in 35 other states. The National Organization for Marriage has worked across the country to allow the people to have a free and fair vote on the critical question of marriage.
Same-sex marriage is likely to be decided in the Senate Judiciary Committee within the next couple of months. What is your organization's strategy moving forward on the issue?
We continue to actively lobby the Senate, particularly the Judiciary Committee, urging them to send the issue to the voters. We have been told time and time again that same-sex marriage was inevitable and time and time again that has proven false. Of particular importance to us is working closely with our grassroots supporters, having them call, email, and visit their Senators, because it’s the people who will ultimately hold these elected officials accountable.
Take us through a day in your life.
Usually breakfast with my wife and kids; In the office by 8:00 a.m.; Review and Respond to overnight emails; Review GoLocalProv, the Providence Journal , and Local Blogs -- of course!; Review and update social media platforms; Usually a national level conference call to discuss the status of marriage in other states -- our efforts are part of the national coalition effort to protect marriage; Meetings with various grassroots leaders; Depending on the day, media communications; Preparing for a variety of public speaking events; home hopefully in time for dinner with my family!
Tell us something nobody knows about you.
I am a Jane Austen Fan and my favorite film is Pride and Prejudice , the BBC production from 1996 (the long 6 hour version!)
Role Model: The Apostle Paul
Favorite Restaurant: Abyssinia (Ethiopian Restaurant in Providence, RI)
Favorite Part About Winter in Rhode Island: Snow days and being cozy on the couch, drinking hot chocolate with my three children.
Best Book You've Read in the Last Year: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
Advice for the Next Christopher Plante: Have a thick skin and a good sense of humor.
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