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Watch Live: Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Marriage Equality

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Rhode Island's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the marriage equality bill is underway. Watch it live HERE.

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  1. Watching it now -- listening to the palaver of "professors" from A CATHOLIC COLLEGE twisting the issue to match catholic doctrine.

    Posted by: Bob | Mar 21, 2013 7:51:03 PM


  2. Some really good stuff and some really bizarre religious rantings in the hearings. The side against marriage equality has nothing other than phony "studies," garbage philosophy and science, and religious threats of god's punishment and the destruction of marriage and children. The side for marriage equality has families, gay people, children, union leaders, lawyers and others who know what they are talking about. One particularly disturbing segment was of a man from some African country who stumbled through a prepared list of what must have been "facts" put together by Paul Cameron about things gay people do and the diseases they get and numbers of sexual partners and limited life spans. There was a Hispanic woman on the same panel who had her little boy (perhaps two years old) in arm as she rambled on in a thick accent about god and horrible things and how awful it is to expose children to such people. Both sounded as though they had been given scripts by their church to read. These were the best that the enemies of equality could put forth.

    Posted by: john patrick | Mar 21, 2013 9:23:29 PM


  3. I dn`t think the Senate commitee will ever pass it. It seems like it is a lot of religious people who have already decided to vote against the bill. they talk and thank People who speak against the bill and say thanks to them, but not the other party :(

    Posted by: nn | Mar 21, 2013 9:28:12 PM


  4. Another panel with little children spouting out religious stuff about needing an egg and a sperm, and needing a mother and a father to produce a child. With out mother and father the human race would die off. I think maybe the one pastor who is on the committee may have put together a bunch of witnesses from his church.

    I would be surprised if the committee did not pass this bill on to the full senate. There are two on the committee who are against the bill, but several who are for it so far. I wonder if some of the witnesses were bussed in from another state. There is a father asking his 7 year old daughter if she believes a guy should be with another guy. He is leading her on and she is not following his lead too well.

    Posted by: john patrick | Mar 21, 2013 9:59:36 PM


  5. A lot of witnesses look like hobos I saw on the street murmuring to themselves. It is a waste of time. They should have been checked by a psychologist before taking the stand.

    Posted by: simon | Mar 21, 2013 10:24:24 PM


  6. How do some of these people become legislators?? I declare...

    Posted by: Lars | Mar 21, 2013 10:36:12 PM


  7. Lars:
    If you listen to some of the witnesses, you won't be surprised these are the same people who elected those idiots. They both have this "God" disease.

    Posted by: simon | Mar 21, 2013 10:57:40 PM


  8. Simon
    Most of them I've heard talk jus seems extreme religious and talking some crazy stuff. everything from hell, bondage, death, electricity, etc. It is frustrating to listen to them. And why does it seems like 90& is talking against the bill?

    Posted by: nn | Mar 21, 2013 11:06:31 PM


  9. nn, there are four solid yes votes on the 10-member Judiciary Committee (Democrat Erin Lynch, Democrat and lesbian Donna Nesselbush, Democrat Stephen Archambault and Republican Dawson Hodgson) and three likely no votes (Frank Lombardi http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/senators/Lombardi/Pages/Biography.aspx ; Michael McCaffrey, the committee chair and an opponent of equality who has co-sponsored a mini-DOMA law for the state; and Harold Metts).

    Among the other three, Metro Weekly is reporting that Paul Jabour is now saying that he will vote to pass the bill out of committee, which would give us five votes and mean that we only need one of the two remaining votes to advance to the Senate floor. http://www.metroweekly.com/poliglot/2013/03/ri-gay-marriage-bill-gaining-momentum-as-referendu.html In his re-election campaign last fall, Jabour had expressed that he personally favors CUs but would be "obligated" to vote for equality if his constituents let him know "overwhelming[ly]" that they support passage. http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/senators/jabour/Pages/Biography.aspx and http://www.golocalprov.com/news/the-10-people-who-will-decide-the-fate-of-same-sex-marriage-in-rhode-i/ and http://blogs.wpri.com/2012/09/06/gay-marriage-group-snubs-kelly-despite-jabours-opposition/

    Leonidas Raptakis, owner of a Greek restaurant, had been seen as a likely opponent but had expressed that he'd be inclined to support a bill if it provides for a popular vote. http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/senators/Raptakis/Pages/Biography.aspx and http://www.ripr.org/post/four-new-senators-added-judiciary-impact-unclear-same-sex-marriage
    Metro Weekly is now reporting, however, that Raptakis is withdrawing his support from the referendum bill favored by the haters and noting that calls into his office are heavily tilted in favor of equality, but not yet committing his support to the equality bill. http://www.metroweekly.com/poliglot/2013/03/ri-gay-marriage-bill-gaining-momentum-as-referendu.html

    If we don't win over Raptakis, that leaves William Conley as the key swing vote for getting this bill out of committee and to the Senate floor, where the vote would also likely be close. William Conley, a Democrat who graduated from Catholic University's
    >> Columbus School of Law, is very involved in his local parish, represents a heavily Catholic district and has been described as an opponent of equality but said in recent months that he's been "listening to the positions of both sides" and, as such, my be persuadable. He needs to be contacted, especially by members of his district. http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/senators/Conley/Pages/Biography.aspx and http://www.ripr.org/post/four-new-senators-added-judiciary-impact-unclear-same-sex-marriage
    and http://www.wpri.com/dpp/news/local_news/nesi/senate-in-no-rush-to-pass-gay-marriage and http://eastprovidence.patch.com/articles/conley-seen-as-swing-vote-on-gay-marriage and http://www.golocalprov.com/news/the-10-people-who-will-decide-the-fate-of-same-sex-marriage-in-rhode-i/

    Posted by: Patric | Mar 21, 2013 11:45:23 PM


  10. Thank you Patric and for explaining on how it is likely the various in the committee is going to vote. It is good that the bill is more likely to pass than it sounds before. Now the people who support marriage equality started to speak, so it feels a little better. It was just so frustrating before.

    Posted by: nn | Mar 22, 2013 12:14:19 AM


  11. No problem, nn. I understand your anxiety. This is much closer than it should be given public opinion in Rhode Island and frankly much of that is due to how many old, religious, bigoted men occupy seats in the state senate. Conley and Raptakis need to hear from people but, again, especially from members of their districts!

    Posted by: Patric | Mar 22, 2013 12:19:18 AM


  12. I was surprised that none of the pro-equality speakers had the balls to say that the Senator who continually gave biblical speeches and kissed up to religious testimony was ENTIRELY INAPPROPRIATE. Rhode Island was founded on religious freedom, and is not a branch of an evangelical church.

    Posted by: Bob | Mar 22, 2013 2:18:40 AM


  13. Teresa Paiva Weed who is the Senate Chairwoman and Michael McCaffrey,chairman of the Judiciary committee,are both Democrats and are just as bigoted as any Republician you will find in the South.
    If you want to know why gay marriage isn't in RHode Island right now,those two are the reason why.
    If they can find an excuse to block or table this bill,they most certainly will.

    Posted by: Kevin | Mar 22, 2013 4:44:50 AM


  14. Bob, I do think Sen. Metts - the one who regularly interrupted the proceedings to deliver his long-winded, generally incoherent sermons - was WAY out of line, at one point lecturing Sen. Archambault (my new crush!) for 20 minutes for having committed the grave sin of presuming to quote scripture. But the marriage-equality speakers - who all night long showed far more class and human decency than their opponents - refrained from calling him out out of respect for the dignity of the office (a dignity which he did much to diminish, despite his courtly manners).

    I think it's worth noting how many religious leaders spoke with amazing passion and eloquence in support of the bill. They did everything they could to disprove the notion that marriage equality is in any way an affront to religious belief per se. Where Sen. Archambault really impressed me was with his repeated insistence that none of the anti-equality speakers had a right to claim a monopoly on God's will.

    Posted by: Mike | Mar 22, 2013 6:26:34 AM


  15. By the way, the hearings concluded just about an hour and a half ago - at 4:56 a.m.! I delivered my testimony at 2:30, and thought THAT showed perseverance.

    Posted by: Mike | Mar 22, 2013 6:29:15 AM


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