Rhode Island oks civil unions

June 29th, 2011 at 10:24 pm | 7 Comments |

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The New York Times reports:

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Less than a week after same-sex marriage was legalized in New York, the Rhode Island State Senate on Wednesday evening approved a bill allowing not marriage, but civil unions for gay couples, despite fierce opposition from gay rights advocates who called the legislation discriminatory.

The bill, which already passed in the state’s House of Representatives and which the governor said he was likely to sign, grants gay and lesbian couples most of the rights and benefits that Rhode Island provides married couples. It was offered as a compromise this spring after Gordon D. Fox, the openly gay speaker of the Democratic-controlled House, said he could not muster enough votes to pass a same-sex marriage bill.

Gay marriage advocates initially had high hopes for success in Rhode Island this year. The new governor, Lincoln D. Chafee, an independent, had championed their cause, and Mr. Fox, who became speaker last year, also appeared eager to get a marriage bill passed. The state’s two closest neighbors, Connecticut and Massachusetts, allow gay couples to marry, as do New Hampshire and Vermont.

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

Gay rights advocates say the bill is unacceptable because it allows religious organizations not to recognize the unions. For example, they say, a Catholic hospital could choose not to allow a lesbian to make medical decisions on behalf of her partner, and a Catholic university could deny family medical leave to gay employees.

“It’s a permission slip to ignore legal obligations,” said Karen L. Loewy, a lawyer at Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, or GLAD.

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • Nanotek

    freedom is fun and contagious

  • Smargalicious

    ^So are HIV, AIDs, and Genital Herpes, sexual deviancy and moral depravity.

  • Smargalicious

    Notice the leftist liberal garbage New England states are going wild for moral depravity. Thank God for the deep South.

    • LFC

      Then why does your god keep punished the deep South with tornadoes and floods? Why did he blow up an oil rig and smear oil all over their shores? Why didn’t he side with them during the Civil War? While not technically part of what is traditionally the “deep South”, Texas and Arizona certainly seem to fit right in with them. So why is your god in the process of burning their lands?

      Sounds like they need a new god down there who takes better care of them. Your bastions of “morality” are getting their collective asses kicked.

  • Graychin

    Don’t feed the tstl troll. It only encourages him.