Biking Backs Same-Sex Marriage

Rick HarrisNASW Rhode Island Chapter Executive Director Rick Harris plans to pedal his way from his home state to Washington, D.C., to attend the upcoming NASW Delegate Assembly.

Rick Harris at the Vermont State House in Montpelier. (Photo: Rick Harris)

Taking back roads, he estimates he will endure about 1,000 miles of biking. And he will be doing it alone.

Taking place Aug. 7-10 in the nation's capital, Delegate Assembly is the representative, decision-making body by which NASW members set broad organizational policy, establish program priorities and develop a collective stance on public and professional issues. It takes place every three years.

An avid biking enthusiast, Harris also plans to make some important stops along the way back and forth to promote the message that same-sex marriage should be a right in the U.S. He is asking people he meets along the way to sign his "Traveling Proclamation for Civil Marriage."

"I collect signatures year-round, and I've done other things to promote it, such as standing outside state buildings and talking with people about it," he said. Harris noted the Rhode Island Chapter has backed his proclamation as well. So far, he has more than 600 signatures from 13 different states.

"In my travels I have spoken to many people individually and in small groups. I am often pleasantly surprised by the number of families who engage positively in these conversations at campgrounds where I stay along the way," he said.

Harris noted that he plans to make some special stops on his way to Delegate Assembly. He will visit NASW chapters in New York and New Jersey on this summer's biking adventure.