DOVER, Del.—The only Republican co-sponsor of Delaware’s same-sex marriage bill told the Washington Blade during an exclusive interview on Wednesday he supports the measure because it’s “the right thing” to do.
“I always try to be respectful of what people think and how they think and we are supporters of treating everyone equally,” state Rep. Mike Ramone (R-Middle Run Valley) said while discussing he and his wife Lisa’s decision to support House Bill 75. He noted during the interview he has a gay son and several of those who have worked at the six flower shops and floral warehouse they own throughout Delaware are out. “Gay people have become very close to us. We just don’t believe that they shouldn’t be treated equally like everyone else and have the opportunity to get married.”
Ramone spoke with the Blade less than three hours before the House Administration Committee voted 4-1 to move HB 75 to the full House. He and his wife also attended the April 11 press conference in Wilmington at which state Rep. Melanie George Smith (D-Bear) announced she had introduced it.
The New Castle County Republican who has represented House District 21 since 2008 told the Blade he did not want Equality Delaware and other HB 75 supporters to officially announce his co-sponsorship of the bill during the press conference because he wanted to talk with his GOP colleagues about his position at first.
“They’ve been very kind and understanding,” Ramone said. “This is one of those things where we’re on different sides. We just are looking at it from different sets of glasses.”
He added he has received what he described as “an enormous amount of calls and letters because I am a Republican and a lot of people would have thought a Republican wouldn’t have done this.” Ramone said they have come from same-sex marriage and opponents alike.
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