Rhode Island House votes today on gay marriage

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.

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8 Comments
  1. Bill Dilworth

    The local TV news reported this morning that no real movement on the bill is expected until March, because the General Assembly is focused on economic matters right now.

  2. Jim Naughton

    Bill, if I am not mistaken, the house is debating the bill now and expects to vote on it today.

  3. Bill Dilworth

    Yes, Jim, after which it will languish in the Senate until at least March – at least that’s how I understand it.

  4. Bill Dilworth

    I’ve got my doubts as to whether the GA can pull this off or not. They managed to make such a mess of civil unions that they aren’t worth entering into, after all. My partner and I may end up ducking across the border into Massachusetts to get married, since the Governor signed an executive order last year recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriage in RI.

  5. Jim Naughton

    Bill passes 51-19!

  6. Of course, all people of faith do not oppose gay marriage.

    I think what you meant to say is that “not all people of faith oppose gay marriage.” Clearly some people of faith DO oppose gay marriage!

    Freudian slip? :-)

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