Lincoln Chafee Hub




A Rhode Island Marriage Equality Vote Approaching?

Talk is stirring in Rhode Island that a vote on marriage equality may be approaching quickly:

Fox House Speaker Gordon D. Fox, an openly gay Providence Democrat, says he's "doing everything in his power" to move the question forward.

He acknowledged that a vote in the House Judiciary Committee could come as soon as March 10, the day that the Senate has scheduled a hearing on the Senate version of the legislation. "That's a potential," Fox said. "The potential's there but nothing has been set in stone at this point."

Fox said he's talking with House members to see where concerns lie. House leaders have also looked at what's been introduced in Maryland and in other states. But he said that no amendments are in play at this point, and that the proposal as currently worded has "strong support" in the House.

Fox said he's aware that time is of the essence, due to other items on the agenda:

"I'd like to get something done sooner with marriage equality so that we can move on to those discussions," Fox said. "How soon? That's going to depend on how soon I can get done laying my groundwork."

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee has made it repeatedly clear that he supports such a measure and would gladly sign it if it got to his desk.

RI Speaker: Committee may vote gay marriage next week [pro jo]


Watch: NOM Releases Ad Opposing Same-Sex Marriage in R.I.

Ri

The National Organization for Marriage in Rhode Island has released its first ad opposing a marriage equality bill in Rhode Island, which was introduced last week.

The ad misspells Governor Lincoln Chafee's name. Chafee called for marriage equality in his inaugural address.

Providence Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Joseph Tobin attacked the bill and Chafee over the weekend, saying, “It is particularly disturbing that our new governor, who has trumpeted his desire to bring our state together in unity, would adopt such a very divisive agenda item as one of his first priorities. His proposal violates the sincere conscience of many of our citizens and inflames passions on both sides of the issue. … Our state leaders could better serve all Rhode Islanders by working on initiatives that will create jobs and improve the overall economic health of our state.”

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATE: The video has been removed — to correct the spelling perhaps?

UPDATE II: The clip is back.

Continue reading "Watch: NOM Releases Ad Opposing Same-Sex Marriage in R.I." »


R.I. Bishop Bashes New Governor Over Support For Marriage Equality

Providence Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Joseph Tobin isn't wasting any time. Just one day after newly sworn in Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee expressed his strong desire to bring marriage equality to that state, Tobin has come out against his vocal support.

Tobin Tobin, in a statement to the media, said the drive to allow same-sex marriage in Rhode Island was “morally wrong and detrimental to the well-being of our state” and called out Chafee in particular for his support of the measure.

“It is particularly disturbing that our new governor, who has trumpeted his desire to bring our state together in unity, would adopt such a very divisive agenda item as one of his first priorities,” he said. “His proposal violates the sincere conscience of many of our citizens and inflames passions on both sides of the issue. … Our state leaders could better serve all Rhode Islanders by working on initiatives that will create jobs and improve the overall economic health of our state.”

But that wasn't the only thing Tobin criticized Chafee about this week. The governor decided to forgo a traditional public prayer service before this week's inauguration, something that Tobin has expressed his unhappiness about.

Tobin told WPRI that he is puzzled and troubled that Chafee wants to, very soon, give everyone in Rhode Island the right to marry the person they love. Watch, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "R.I. Bishop Bashes New Governor Over Support For Marriage Equality" »


Marriage Equality Bill to Be Introduced Today in Rhode Island

Hot on the heels of Governor Lincoln Chafee's call for marriage equality in the state, a bill will be re-introduced in the Rhode Island House to legalize same-sex marriage there, and they plan to move it quickly, the Providence Journal reports:

Handy In a brief interview on Wednesday, Rep. Arthur Handy (pictured), D-Cranston, said he had already lined up 27 co-sponsors and was hoping for more, but would introduce the bill no matter what the number on Thursday in hopes of spurring an early-session hearing and vote on the measure.

Besides Handy, the other lead sponsors include Representatives Frank Ferri, D-Warwick, Edith Ajello, D-Providence, Deborah Ruggiero, D-Jamestown, and the openly gay House Speaker Gordon D. Fox, D-Providence, who had said in the days leading up to the start of the 2011 General Assembly session that he hoped for a House vote on same-sex marriage early in the session, before the lawmakers get wrapped up in the budget and other issues.

“I would like it done earlier than later, only because later you get into budget issues and your focus sort of changes,” Fox said.

Ri The bill's language:

It says: “Any person who otherwise meets the eligibility requirements [in law] may marry any other eligible person regardless of gender.” It also says: “No person shall marry” a long list of relatives, including a parent, grandparent, sibling or child of a sibling, and makes clear that no religious institution would be required to perform a civil marriage if it conflicted with its teachings.

A Democrat, Rep. Jon Brien of Woonsocket, is already planning to counter the bill with legislation that would require a public referendum on the issue.

The bill's chances in the state senate are not yet clear at this point, but certainly better than when gay-hating Governor Donald Carcieri was in power, with a veto threat waiting.


Watch: R.I. Governor Lincoln Chafee Calls for Marriage Equality in Inaugural Address

Chafee

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee was sworn in yesterday and received cheers and applause as he called on lawmakers to approve a marriage equality bill in his inaugural address:

"I urge the General Assembly to quickly consider and adopt this legislation. When marriage equality is the law in Rhode Island, we honor our forefathers who risked their lives and fortune in the pursuit of human equality. Rhode Island today must be as welcoming to all as [the state's founder] Roger Williams intended it to be. Mark my words, these two actions will do more for economic growth in our state than any economic development loan."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: R.I. Governor Lincoln Chafee Calls for Marriage Equality in Inaugural Address" »


Rhode Island Governor-Elect Chafee Snubs NOM, Reiterates His Commitment to Marriage Equality

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is whining because Rhode Island Governor-elect Lincoln Chafee won't entertain supporting a 2012 voter referendum on same-sex marriage and has reiterated his commitment to equality.

Chafee The Providence Journal reports that Christopher Plante, the head of NOM's Rhode Island chapter, paid a visit to Chafee's office:

Plante said he dropped by Chafee’s transition office unannounced about two weeks ago, and came away from his conversation with aide Michael Trainor believing that the governor-elect was open to sitting down and talking with people on all sides of the gay-marriage debate.

Hence his “surprise” when he received a letter from Trainor, reaffirming the position that Chafee stated repeatedly through his campaign for governor over the last year. It said: “The governor elect feels that the issue should be addressed as soon as possible by the General Assembly, and does not believe that the question should be decided by a ballot referendum.”

In his Nov. 16 letter to Plante, Trainor also reiterated Chafee’s belief that: “Marriage equality is a basic right that should be extended to all Rhode Islanders — a question not only of fairness and justice, but of economic development as well.”

“I was surprised,” said Plante on Tuesday, “because Mr. Trainor indicated that he thought that Governor-elect Chafee would sit down at the table with all parties ... I left there thinking that maybe we’ll get a roundtable. We’ll get ‘Marriage Equality’ ... We’ll get NOMRI to sit at the table and talk about how we are going to go forward on this ... But what he has done is rejected our position out of hand.”

Plante is clearly exasperated. The ProJo asked him why he thought Chafee would change his mind.

"What insanity got into my mind? That I have real and credible polling data that shows that 80 percent of Rhode Islanders want it on the ballot ... And he was elected with — what? — 36 percent of the vote, fewer popular votes than (unsuccessful independent lieutenant governor candidate) Bob Healey got."

No doubt NOM will soon be pouring more millions of dollars toward the Rhode Island referendum.

And why hasn't NOM been classified as a hate group already?


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged