Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gay Civil Unions Passes in Rhode Island

Governor says bill is "incremental step" toward same-sex "marriage," but homosexualists oppose it because it allows too many freedom of religion exemptions.
“We support common-sense exemptions. But no government should ever grant a religion or organization the autonomous authority to operate outside the boundaries of the law.”
For background, read Rhode Island Punts Same-sex 'Marriage' to Civil Unions

UPDATE 8/15/11: So Far Only 9 Couples Get Civil Unions in RI

UPDATE 7/3/11: Governor signs Rhode Island civil union law, but pleases no one

-- From "RI Senate passes civil unions bill" by Ian MacDougall, Associated Press 6/29/11

The Rhode Island Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions, a measure that Gov. Lincoln Chafee says he's inclined to sign.

State senators voted 21-16 to endorse the bill, about two hours after it was voted out of committee. The legislation, which already has passed the state House, allows gay couples to enter into civil unions that offer the same rights and benefits given to married couples under Rhode Island law.

Several gay marriage advocacy groups have urged Chafee to veto the bill because of what they call overly broad exemptions that would allow religious institutions to ignore rights given through civil unions. The measure would, for instance, let religious hospitals refuse a civil union spouse the right to make emergency medical decisions.

Those groups and some state senators on the floor Wednesday have also said civil unions don't go nearly far enough and treat gay couples as second-class citizens.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Rhode Island Lawmakers Approve Civil Unions" by Abby Goodnough, New York Times 6/29/11

Gay marriage advocates initially had high hopes for success in Rhode Island this year. . . .

But M. Teresa Paiva Weed, a Democrat and the State Senate president, opposes gay marriage, and Mr. Fox [the openly gay House Speaker] ultimately threw his support to civil unions instead, saying that was a more realistic goal.

After the committee vote, Ms. Paiva Weed said that she did not expect the Legislature to vote on a same-sex marriage bill next year, either.

In an interview, Mr. Chafee said Rhode Island’s large elderly and Catholic populations helped explain why same-sex marriage has not gained traction.

If Mr. Chafee signs it, Rhode Island will become the fifth state with a civil unions law; Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois and New Jersey already allow civil unions for gay couples.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read New York Same-sex 'Marriage' Pits Christians vs. 'christians'