NOM BLOG

NOM-RI: Passage of Same-Sex Civil Unions Bill in Rhode Island A Disappointing and Dangerous Day for Marriage

 

“This is a disappointing and dangerous day for marriage in Rhode Island.  The passage of Civil Unions presents a clear threat to the definition of marriage and the religious liberties of tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders,” declared Chris Plante, executive director, NOM – Rhode Island.

Hiding behind the idea of “compromise” and ignoring the almost universal opposition to this bill, the Rhode Island Senate has opened the door for the courts of Rhode Island to redefine marriage without a vote of the people.  The Senate’s refusal to allow a definition of marriage to be inserted into the bill is either a deliberate omission to set the stage for a future law suit or a naïve belief that homosexual marriage advocates will now go away.  Further, by not including an “inseverability” clause, the Senate has left vulnerable the hard won religious liberties protections put into the bill by the House of Representatives.

The National Organization for Marriage – Rhode Island is pleased that this bill has unprecedented protections for religious liberties in a civil union bill, however we are well aware that the protections do not go far enough to protect the religious liberties of business owners and professionals who wish to run their practices according to their deeply held religious beliefs.  By not extending these protections to individuals the Senate has put at risk the myriad of small businesses and practices run by people of faith.  These voters do not have the resources to defend against lawsuits and as such are left with the tragic choice of betraying their faith or risking their livelihoods.

Nevertheless, the National Organization – Rhode Island is pleased that marriage was successfully defended in Rhode Island against very long odds.  The voters of Rhode Island fought for marriage and defeated the number two priority of the Governor and one of the highest priorities of the Speaker of the House.  With a strong coalition of faith communities, NOM – Rhode Island was able to assist the House of Representatives in drafting and passing religious liberties protections that are unprecedented in other Civil Union laws.

The National Organization for Marriage – Rhode Island will continue to defend marriage and religious liberties in the Ocean State in the next legislative session and the electoral season to come.

26 Comments

  1. SC Guy
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    While it is a very tragic happening in Rhode Island, there is at least a small victory for marriage in that they had to downgrade from civil unions to marriage. And that is due in no small part to NOM.

    This is becoming increasingly common in states with the Trifecta of Dems controlling both houses of the state legislature and governorship. This happened in Illinois, Delaware and Hawaii.

  2. KevinMich
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Civil Unions are a great first step toward full marriage equality. Go Rhode Island!

  3. Comey Arifidly
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Equality RI requested a veto of the cvil unions bill. They may be concerned that even civil unions cheapen traditional marriage

  4. kieran
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    There are too many religious exemptions in the bill. For example, a spouse can be denied the right to make emergency medical decisions if a hospital is religious. While it is a step in the right direction for RI to allow civil unions, they need to work on the religious exemptions.

  5. SC Guy
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Was just reading an article in the Seattle Times and found that homosexual state senator Ed Murray said the following:

    "Currently, he said, supporters of gay marriage don't have the votes in the Washington Legislature to legalize gay marriage."

    You can read the link at : http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politicsnorthwest/2015464801_mcginn_offers_support_on_gay_m.html

  6. Freedom
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    When will you realize that "people of faith" do not have any more rights in this country than anyone else? To say simply "I believe civil marriage is between a man and a woman" is not an argument. It's a really strange way to summarize your argument, because it's not an argument at all. If we're debating health care, one side will have a line about big government, and the other will have a line about the uninsured or spiraling costs. If we're debating torture, advocates will mention the need to make terrorists talk, and opponents will invoke American values. Soundbites, by their nature, can't express much logical nuance, but they do tend to give you a reason to agree with the position.

    Your hollow non-argument is also irrelevant in seven states and the nation's capital. What you have to do is explain why you believe two gay people cannot and should not be married in terms beyond mere sectarian dogma. We live in a republic, not a church. And those arguments, when tested, have failed logical inspection.

  7. Sapient
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    When will you realize that "people of faith" do not have any more rights in this country than anyone else? To say simply "I believe civil marriage is between a man and a woman" is not an argument. It's a really strange way to summarize your argument, because it's not an argument at all. If we're debating health care, one side will have a line about big government, and the other will have a line about the uninsured or spiraling costs. If we're debating torture, advocates will mention the need to make terrorists talk, and opponents will invoke American values. Soundbites, by their nature, can't express much logical nuance, but they do tend to give you a reason to agree with the position.

    Your hollow non-argument is also irrelevant in seven states and the nation's capital. What you have to do is explain why you believe two gay people cannot and should not be married in terms beyond mere sectarian dogma. We live in a republic, not a church. And those arguments, when tested, have failed logical inspection.

  8. Daniel
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    The majority should never determine the rights of the Minority. If that had been the protocol in the past, then women would not be able to vote and slavery never would have ended. Why cant you people get that through your heads? That is such a week argument.

  9. Little man
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    northwestperson:
    NOM doesn't have to ask us for money. We offer it voluntarilly. Whether we "win" or "lose", though division is a loss for everyone, considering our poor economic times, we would vote and support the protection of marriage (yes, natural marriage; you guessed it.)

  10. Don
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    Let's put this in context, shall we.

    Homosexual activists swore that they would keep Prop 8 off the ballot in California. They failed.

    They swore they would defeat Prop 8 at the polls and were even celebrating their victory before the numbers came in. They failed.

    They swore there would be homosexual "marriage" in Maine. The legislature passed it but voters overturned it. They failed again.

    It was a "done deal" that homosexual "marriage" was going to be legislated into existence in Maryland and Rhode Island. Where is it?

  11. Ash
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    For once I agree with NOM- terrible bill, complete step backwards for Rhode Island- i hope Lincoln Chafee vetoes it, but I highly doubt it. Poor Show, Rhode Island.

  12. Ryan
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    poor NOM, you always tout your victories but you forgot all of the progess SSM has made this year alone--NY, RI, IL, DE, HI. Equality is inevitable.

  13. Mike Brooks
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Civil unions make more sense for both homosexuals and normal people. Since marriage was redefined in NY to accommodate homosexuals, there have been many homosexuals opining that they fear that marriage might normalize them, strip them of the sex-obsessed differences that they have so much pride in, and relegate them to a mundane existence of imitating heterosexuals.

    Fat chance that they'll ever be considered normal without a wink and a chuckle, but civil unions do give them the societal separation that they seem to want in law, as well as in fact.

    What they don't seem to understand is that procreation, only achievable through a man and a woman, is and always will be a very special thing for society, and is the very essence of "normal" for our species. Same-sex couples stick out as anti-normal by virtue of their inherent inability to procreate.

    So give them civil unions, give them marriage, but they really gain nothing. They're like people in wheelchairs: yes, we know we have to treat you as if you have nothing wrong with you but look at you....

  14. Randy E King
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    By now everybody knows that Civil Unions is what these perverts like to call their Trojan horse. By constructing building block legislation under false pretense these miscreants have opened the door to a complete reversal of all of their ill gotten gains when these challenges reach a majority conservative SCOTUS – providing Kennedy is not a sheep in wolves clothing.

    Same-sex activity is their religion; a religion grounded firmly in junk science, but a religion none the less.

  15. Thom
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    "Same-sex activity is their religion; a religion grounded firmly in junk science, but a religion none the less."

    Randy, if you believe that it is a religion, then you must come to the conclusion that it is protected under the constitution and is subject to the same religious liberties as catholicism.

  16. yohance brown
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Lets keep up the fight. NOM is doing a fantastic job. Go NOM!

  17. afdasf
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    "When will you realize that "people of faith" do not have any more rights in this country than anyone else? "

    Neither do gays.

  18. Randy E King
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    "When will you realize that "people of faith" do not have any more rights in this country than anyone else? "

    Faith is protected by the first Amendment of the United States Constitution which renders it immutable.

    "if you believe that it is a religion, then you must come to the conclusion that it is protected under the constitution and is subject to the same religious liberties as catholicism."

    Same sex activity is a religion in the same sense that ignorance is a religion.

    "It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins"

    Benjamin Franklin

    "We have our freedom because of our faith; we do not have our faith becuase of our freedom"

    Gerge W. Bush

  19. afdasf
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    @Sapient: There are plenty of valid, secular arguments against gay marriage. You've just conveniently chosen to ignore them.

  20. Dwane
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    @Randy - you can faith with out freedom -- so GWB isnt t the best quote to use.

    The Ben Franklin F quote rings 100% true.

  21. Sam Jones
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    "if you believe that it is a religion, then you must come to the conclusion that it is protected under the constitution and is subject to the same religious liberties as catholicism."

    Only homosexuality is not officially recognized as a religion (which it is.) If it were officially recognized as such, the government wouldn't be able to favor, sponsor, and endorse it the way it does. Look at the UK for an example.

  22. alvin
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    homosexuality is a religion, sam?

  23. ForTheCommonGood
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    What happened in RI is a tragedy. I've never become involved in politics before, but after seeing what was going on and searching for the truth, it really was an eye opening to see how politics plays out. Clearly, the backroom deals, secrecy, and dishonesty is what rules and how you get ahead and get your bills passed. Sadly, once someone is elected, they do what they want. We need to get those morally inept people out of office and clean house and we can only do that if the regular, tax paying citizens of RI do the research and get INVOLVED!

  24. John
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    @asdaf....we want the SAME rights. Get a grip.

  25. afdasf
    Posted July 1, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    No, you already have the same rights; what you want is to have the law changed to accommodate your lifestyle. Big difference. No gay person is being denied the right to marry whoever they want, provided that person is:

    1) A consenting adult
    2) Not currently married
    3) Not genetically related
    4) A member of the opposite sex

    Obviously, that last condition is incompatible with your orientation, but those are the rules. Life isn't always fair, and you don't always get what you want, but the rules are based on what's best for society. Changing the rules to suit your lifestyle is not the same thing as asking for equal rights.

    Now, you are more than welcome to live with your same sex partner (and depending on your jurisdiction, enjoy the benefits of civil unions). You can even go as far as proposing, having a big ceremony with all your friends, etc. You just can't call your relationship something it isn't.

  26. Tony
    Posted July 4, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    To be fair, gay people should have the same right to discriminate against customers, employees, etc., because they disagree with their religious beliefs. It don't like that it is illegal for me to tell a Christian family to take a hike when they come in for a Baptism cake. And don't get me started on those Jews and their Circumcision pastries! Please, for the love of God, include a exclusion that goes BOTH ways so I can refuse service to such undesirables.