Rhode Island Becomes 10th State to Allow Gay, Lesbian Couples to Marry
Rhode Island Becomes 10th State to Allow Gay, Lesbian Couples to Marry - News - The Litchfield County Times
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island has become the nation's 10th state to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed, after a 16-year effort to extend marriage rights in this heavily Roman Catholic state.
Gays, lesbians, their friends and families erupted into cheers Thursday following a final 56-15 vote in the Rhode Island House, and then again an hour later when Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the bill into law on the Statehouse steps.thats terrible, complete BSThe day was bittersweet for Deborah Tevyaw, whose wife, state corrections officer Pat Baker, succumbed to lung cancer two years ago. Months before she died, Baker, relying on an oxygen tank, angrily told lawmakers that it was unfair that Tevyaw wasn't considered her wife in Rhode Island despite their marriage in Massachusetts.
wasted legislation to please a strawman argument.Supporters framed the issue as one of civil rights, arguing in daylong legislative hearings that gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights and protections given to opposite-sex married couples. The Catholic Church was the most significant opponent, with Bishop Thomas Tobin urging lawmakers to defeat what he called an "immoral and unnecessary" change to traditional marriage law
The Rhode Island legislation states that religious institutions may set their own rules regarding who is eligible to marry within the faith and specifies that no religious leader is obligated to officiate at any marriage ceremony and no religious group is required to provide facilities or services related to a gay marriage.
While ministers already cannot be forced to marry anyone, the exemption helped assuage concerns from some lawmakers that clergy could face lawsuits for abiding by their religious convictions.
Well 10 down!
Oh happy days! more equality achieved, good job Rhode Island!
back up links:
Rhode Island becomes tenth state to make same-sex marriage legal – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs
Rhode Island legalizes same-sex marriage | Fox News