Tag Archives | Civil Unions

592 Marriages and 14 Civil Unions

ProJo reports that according to the census bureau, 1 in 5 Rhode Island same-sex couples are married. That is 592 marriages out of 2,785 same-sex couples in the state.

No wonder there’s no rush for Civil Unions, people are just going next door and getting married instead.

Word to the wise though, if you do decide to run for the border for your equal rights, be sure you are really really really sure you want to be married, because you can’t undo your marriage once you come back here.


RIACLU Report calls Civil Union Law “A Fiasco”; Harry Hay’s Life Continues to Inspire.

The RI ACLU today issued a report analyzing the adoption if the civil union law, in comparison with 12 other states with similar laws. Consensus? It’s a bust, and falling far short of the stated intent to provide same sex couples with equal protection under the law. It’s time to get organized, to find good pro-equality candidates around the state, and to renew the fight. Because settling for less just isn’t working. The full report is available here.

Also today, SAGE RI, the LGBTQ senior group, held a screening of Hope on the Wind, a documentary about the life of Harry Hay, gay liberationist, social radical, and founder of Mattachine Society and Radical Faeries. It was interesting to hear his reflections on getting kicked out of the gay rights organization he founded because his views were to fringy and the movement didn’t want to be tainted with his communist politics. As we celebrate the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and continue the fight for marriage equality, while such basic legislation as the Employment Nondiscrimination Act continues to founder, I think it’s worth asking what our goals as a movement are. Seems the assimilationst politics are winning for now. I keep hoping that the rightward swing of thr political pendulum will make room for a new queer-inclusive radical left to rise up for broadbased justice, freedom and equality writ large. And that I’ll have the conviction to risk being a part of it.



ProJo: “RI ACLU: New civil-union law ‘a fiasco;’ gay marriage better”

Since the law was enacted, the ACLU said, 14 gay and lesbian couples have sought “civil union” status. In its review of licensing statistics in a dozen other states, the ACLU found “no other state that has passed a law formally recognizing gay and lesbian couples has seen such a paltry and lackluster response to its passage.”

The report cites at least three major reasons why couples are shunning the new statute: the inclusion of “an incredibly broad ‘religious’ exemption” that significantly undercuts the law’s purpose; the dashed expectation that, after 12 years of effort, a vote on a marriage bill would finally take place this year; and the prevalence of marriage states throughout New England, where “Rhode Islanders can travel a few hours in just about any direction and be in a state that, unlike their own, recognizes full marriage equality.”


Marriage Equality RI: “Tell Rep. Doreen Costa not to stand with a bigot”

From MERI:

Rep. Doreen Costa

State Rep. Doreen Costa

Some of you may have received the email from us a few minutes ago related to the Tea Party rally that will be held in North Kingstown tomorrow morning at 11:30. We are asking our supporters to call or email Rep. Doreen Costa and let her know that we don’t support hatred in Rhode Island. You can email her here or call her (401) 206-6891. With politicians constantly thinking about reelection, a flood of phone calls & emails is the perfect way to make sure Rep. Costa knows we’re paying attention.

For some background on the back and forth between us and Rep. Costa today go to our blog. Here’s the GoLocalProv article.

Rep. Costa also gave an interesting response in a ProJo article:

“Costa says she opposes gay marriage, as Angle does, but she does not oppose granting gay, lesbian and transgendered people the same civil rights protections as other minority groups. She also supports allowing same-sex couples, if they are legally married, to adopt and raise children.”

If she doesn’t want to allow marriage equality then…….that would mean same-sex couples wouldn’t be able to adopt. (She also voted against the civil union bill and let’s just say it wasn’t because of the Corvese Amendment)

Good thing we’re gearing up for elections 2012!

Image from RI General Assembly website.


Chris Young guilty of resisting arrest, judge concedes to his “obnoxious” freedom of speech

The ProJo reports that perennial Providence Mayoral Candidate and cable news darling, Christopher Young has been found guilty of resisting arrest at the Rhode Island State House during a hearing on the Civil Union’s Bill.

He was not found guilty of disorderly conduct, the Journal writes (emphasis mine):

Judge Anthony Capraro Jr. found Young guilty of resisting a deputy sheriff’s attempts to remove him from the Senate gallery, where he and his fiancée, Kara D. Russo, had been protesting the same-sex civil union bill. The judge, however, acquitted Young of disorderly conduct saying videotape and photographs clearly showed the couple “minding their own business” while quietly holding signs opposing the bill along the back wall.

“I find it obnoxious what you were doing in the gallery that day. But one man’s obnoxiousness is another man’s free speech,” Capraro said.

Nice; in other words, just because you didn’t break the law, doesn’t mean you aren’t an ass.



From the The Providence Journal:

In all, nine same-sex couples formalized their commitments to one another during the month, the first in which they could they could enter into marriage-like agreements with their partners.

Two of the ceremonies took place in Providence, two took place in Newport and one each in Burrillville, Cranston, Little Compton, North Providence and Pawtucket, said Peter Hanney, a spokesman for the state Department of Health.


Not exactly a stampede

It is not everything that we could have wanted, but it is a start

ProJo reports that demand is light for civil unions on this the first day that city and town halls are open after Governor Chafee signed the civil unions bill on Saturday.

ProJo reports that as of 2:30pm, no one had applied for a civil union license in any of Rhode Island’s largest cities; Providence, Warwick, and Cranston.

Aaron Coutu and Ray Daignault, a couple that has been together for 13-years, appear to be the first (and perhaps only so far) to apply for a civil union license; at Burrillville Town Hall. Congratulations Aaron and Ray.


Separate and unequal

Signs denoting gay and straight highway lanes on Route 95 at Atwells Avenue

Signs denoting gay and straight highway lanes on Route 95 at Atwells Avenue

I came across these signs while walking home this afternoon. If you can’t quite make it out, it is signs denoting “gay” and “straight” lanes hung from the Atwells Avenue overpass over Route 95. I’m assuming this is a statement on civil unions.


Bishop Tobin is a Neb Nose

The Bishop and I are share a hometown with a unique dialect, wherein “neb nose” is someone who is butting into another’s business without warrant.
(And let me be very clear that while I disagree wholeheartedly with his position here, I also wholeheartedly support his right to believe, and preach, whatever he likes.) We might both bleed black and gold during football season, but that’s about all we agree on. Here’s his absolutely appalling statement on civil unions, released despite the horrible Corvese Amendment that basically allows religious institutions to ignore civil unions in any context (including making medical decisions at religious hospitals, recognizing parental rights at religious schools, and obtaining housing from a religious shelter). Essentially, this is like passing legislation that allows religious institutions to ignore divorces. Hope you feel good about having your first wife make those end-of-life decisions for you….

I am deeply disappointed that Rhode Island will establish civil unions in our state. The concept of civil unions is a social experiment that promotes an immoral lifestyle, is a mockery of the institution of marriage as designed by God, undermines the well-being of our families, and poses a threat to religious liberty.

In this context it is my obligation to remind Catholics of the teachings of the Church on this matter. First, the Church continues to have respect and love for persons with same-sex attraction; they are indeed children of God and our brothers and sisters in the human family. We pray for their well-being and offer them spiritual guidance and pastoral care. We also extend our love and support to families of homosexual persons who sometimes struggle with this difficult emotional issue.

At the same time, the Church reminds its members that homosexual activity is contrary to the natural law and the will of God and, therefore, is objectively sinful. Persons with same-sex attraction are required to live the Christian virtues of chastity and modesty, as all persons are. The importance of these virtues is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures and in the constant tradition of the Church.

Because civil unions promote an unacceptable lifestyle, undermine the faith of the Church on holy matrimony, and cause scandal and confusion, Catholics may not participate in civil unions. To do so is a very grave violation of the moral law and, thus, seriously sinful. A civil union can never be accepted as a legitimate alternative to matrimony.

Can there be any doubt that Almighty God will, in His own time and way, pass judgment upon our state, its leaders and citizens, for abandoning His commands and embracing public immorality? I encourage Catholics to pray for God’s patience, mercy and forgiveness in these distressing times.