Gay Marriage Hearings in Rhode Island Set for February 26

by Joe Siegel
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Feb 18, 2009

The fight for marriage equality in the Ocean State will be front and center on Thursday,February 26, as the Senate Judiciary Committee hears testimony pertaining to two bills - one prohibiting same-sex marriage and the other granting equal access to marriage for same-gender couples.

S0136, introduced by anti-gay Senator Leo Blais (R-Coventry), would amend the state constitution to limit the definition of marriage as "the legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife."

In addition, the measure would prohibit the state from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Blais has sponsored similar legislation in the past and has been an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage.

S0147, introduced by Senators Rhoda Perry (D-Providence), Susan Sosnowski (D-New Shoreham), Juan Pichardo (D-Providence), Joshua Miller (D-Cranston), and Charles Levesque(D-Bristol), would allow the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The bill also guarantees protection of freedom of religion in marriage, stating:

"No court or other state or local governmental body, entity, agency or commission shall compel, prevent, or interfere in any way with any religious
institution's decisions about marriage eligibility within that particular faith's tradition."

"Anything less than full marriage equality is discrimination," Miller said. "This is about your friends, neighbors, and relatives being discriminated against."

The hearing will begin at approximately 5 pm in the Judiciary Committee meeting room at the Statehouse in Providence.

Joe Siegel has written for a number of other GLBT publications, including In newsweekly and Options.


  • , 2009-02-27 09:33:05

    it is wrong to say homosexuality is moral and never has been nor should ever be. they have the legal right to be gay but not call it legally moral. if they say they are born that way as i have not found any proof then for someone who is born with tendencies to steal should be allowed to steal. everyone throws the church state separation in the arguments when that phrase does not exist anywhere in the constitution or bill of rights. if anyone has done their homework they will find it was a letter from thomas jefferson assuring a specific church that the government would not name any denomination the country’s religion. you cannot separte the state from the church because religious people as well as non religeous people are the state. of the people, by the people and for the people. so we the people find gay marriage immoral and illegal. homosexuality is not natural, not moral, and will never be natural and moral. the founding fathers were mostly men of God and this country was founded on christian priciples. we are slowly straying away from this and we wonder why our country is going down the tubes morally. please ban same sex marriages.

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