The Rhode Island State House is expected to pass a bill today that would legalize gay marriage, though the measure faces opposition in the Senate. The New York Times notes that Rhode Island is the "last holdout in New England" on this issue, and is "one of several states, including Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota and New Jersey, where supporters of gay marriage are trying to make legislative gains this year."
The Times states that if the measure passes in Rhode Island, "New England would become the first solid block of states in the country to allow gay marriage, underscoring the region’s reputation as the nation’s most liberal, and perhaps its least religious. A Gallup survey found that all six New England states rank among the bottom 10 states for weekly church attendance."
Of course, all people of faith do not oppose gay marriage. The Times reports:
...the religious community here is deeply split. Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence strongly opposes the measure and last week called gay marriage “immoral and unnecessary.”
Rhode Island’s Episcopal bishop, W. Nicholas Knisely, supports it, saying gays and lesbians deserve the same rights as any other couple. “Christ welcomed all to his table,” said the Rev. Gene Dyszlewski, chairman of the Rhode Island Religious Coalition for Marriage Equality. “We hope to follow his example.”
Dyszlewski is a pastor in the United Church of Christ. Read full story here.