FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 3, 2013
Contact: Christopher Plante (401-228-7602)
"Besides advocating a flawed marriage policy, the so-called "marriage equality act" contains a shocking lack of religious liberty protections, potentially ghettoizing people of faith unless they compromise and remain silent in the public square." —Christopher Plante, Regional Director for NOM-RI—
Providence, RI — The National Organization for Marriage Rhode Island today condemned the redefinition of marriage signed into law by Governor Lincoln Chafee. Criticizing the new law as short-sighted and potentially dangerous to people of faith, NOM Rhode Island reiterated its commitment to protecting marriage and the faith communities that support it.
"Redefining marriage into a genderless institution to satisfy the demands of a small but politically powerful group is short-sighted policy that fails to take into account the rights and needs of the generations to come," said Christopher Plante, regional director of NOM Rhode Island. "Children deserve to know and be cared for by a mom and dad. This law will intentionally deny children one or the other. The full impact may not be seen next week or next year, but our children will be the ones who pay the price for this decision."
"When marriage is redefined into a genderless institution, it presents a range of legal conflicts for people of faith and the small businesses and charitable organizations they operate to serve the public," Plante said. "Without robust legal protections to allow these faithful people and groups to maintain fidelity in the public square to their religious beliefs, we’re likely to see a raft of lawsuits and governmental action such as license revocations, fines and denial of governmental contracts to these faith-based groups and individuals."
In other states that have recently redefined marriage such as New York, Maine, Vermont and Washington, people of faith have faced consequences for refusing to accommodate genderless marriage in violation of their deeply-held faith. A Christian couple in Vermont was sued for not hosting a same-sex ceremony in their inn, and was forced to pay a fine and agree to no longer accommodate any weddings in their facility. Recently the Washington State Attorney General has taken legal action against a Christian florist for declining to utilize her artistic talents in celebration of a same-sex wedding, which she opposes on religious grounds. The florist has also been sued by a lesbian couple and the ACLU. Notary Publics in Maine have been warned that they must surrender their certifications if they refuse to solemnize a same-sex marriage even if it conflicts with their religious beliefs. Town Clerks in New York faced similar threats.
To schedule an interview with Christopher Plante, Regional Director of the National Organization for Marriage, contact him at 401-228-7602 or [email protected]