Rhode Island Hub




Catholic College in Rhode Island Disinvites Gay Marriage Supporter from Speaking Engagement

Providence College, a Roman Catholic school in Rhode Island, has canceled a lecture by author, lecturer, professor of philosophy, and same-sex marriage supporter John Corvino, the NYT reports:

CorvinoThe lecturer, John Corvino, chairman of the philosophy department at Wayne State University, in Detroit, has spoken previously at more than 10 Catholic colleges and often appears in friendly debates with religious opponents of gay marriage. His appearance at Providence College had been co-sponsored by nine departments and programs, and some of the organizers said the cancellation surprised them.

The cancellation was announced by the college’s provost on Saturday, one day after the Roman Catholic Church was rocked by the publication of a long interview in which Pope Francis called for the church to “find a new balance” by refraining from frequent condemnations of homosexuality, abortion and birth control, and emphasizing mercy and love.

Said the college: “Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.”


RI Catholic Priest Tells Lawmakers Who Approved Marriage Equality He Will Campaign Against Them in Church

A Rhode Island Catholic priest emailed Rhode Island lawmakers who approved same-sex marriage legislation telling them that he would be preaching against their reelection from the pulpit, RI Future reports:

Sistare“I’m praying for each of you, that you turn back to God,” said an email purportedly from Father Brian Sistare, who is now the priest at Sacred Heart in Woonsocket. “I’m also going to let my Parish know exactly how you voted, so come re-election time, you will not be re-elected.”

As non-profit entities, churches are legally forbidden from engaging in political campaign activity.

The email was sent to the 26 state senators who voted for marriage equality and was signed and seemingly sent by Sistare.

Rhode Island's marriage equality law came into effect on August 1.

Sistare's full email, courtesy of RI Future, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "RI Catholic Priest Tells Lawmakers Who Approved Marriage Equality He Will Campaign Against Them in Church" »


Marriage Equality Becomes Reality In Minnesota, Rhode Island

Mn

As earlier anticipated, at 12:01 AM this morning same-sex marriage became legal in Minnesota and Rhode Island, upping the number of states where gay couples can be legally wed to 13. According to The Star Tribune, couples in Minneapolis started marrying at city hall just after midnight, with Mayor R.T. Rybak and his staff officiating over 42 weddings. The ceremonies and celebrations went on early into the morning, with food trucks, jitneys and even the local Hotel Minneapolis joining in the merriment of what Governor Mark Dayton declared, "Freedom to Marry Day." Though many Minnesotans remain divided on same-sex marriage, at least one couple hoped that same-sex marriages would help to change the hearts and minds of Minnesotans opposed to marriage equality:

“Our wedding will be about celebration and commitment, but will also be about sharing our lives to help people better understand how much the same we all are,” said Phil Oxman, who married his partner 38 years shortly after 1 a.m. in Minneapolis City Hall.

RiWedding ceremonies in Rhode Island did not start until after 8:30 AM Thursday morning when local offices opened for business, though some had expected the ceremonies to commence after midnight as they did in Minnesota. Many have speculated that Rhode Island will not experience as big of a "rush to marry" given that it is the last New England state to legalize marriage equality and many same-sex couples in Rhode Island wed out of state in neighboring Connecticut or Massachusetts. Indeed, Rhode Island's new marriage equality law will recognize those out of state marriages as legal and valid thus eliminating many couple's need to seek an additional ceremony. Still, the state saw gay couples waiting outside to make it legal as city halls opened for business. According to Boston.com:

Kent Stetson and Luis Astudillo were among a handful of couples that came to Providence City Hall first thing to get a license. They planned to get married later in the day, on a street in downtown where they took a memorable walk on their first date 12 years ago.

‘‘We are securing our rights today. We would have been married years ago if we could,’’ Stetson said.

In Newport, a couple that have been together for 41 years, Federico Santi and John Gacher, were previously joined in a civil union, so they were immediately married after getting their license. They had no plans for an extravagant ceremony, saying that in their eyes, their marriage began in August 1972.

‘‘It’s certainly not going to change our lives, but it’s going to change the lives of lots of young people, and that’s what we are really proud of: that now they have the opportunity to get married if they choose to,’’ Santi said.

Congratulations to all the happy couples celebrating today!

(Caption photo via Twitter)


Marriage Equality Just Hours Away For Minnesota And Rhode Island

Minnesota Equality
The stroke of midnight on Thursday, August 1st, will mark the beginning for marriage equality in two new states: Minnesota and Rhode Island. Now that the time is just hours away, LGBT residents, supporters, and opponents are scrambling in the last few hours to make their goals a reality. 

Minnesota Public Radio reports that the City Hall of Minneapolis will be "hosting an extravaganza at City Hall tonight where Mayor R.T. Rybak will officiate at the marriage of 42 same-sex couples." The term "extravaganza" refers not only to the marathon of same-sex marriage, but the lavish celebration afterwards that will reportedly "stretch well into Thursday morning," and include "performances by local musicians, a brass quintet and a reception at the nearby Hotel Minneapolis." Rybak staffer Andy Holmaas told MPR about how the celebration comes partially as the result of an outpouring of generosity from community members and businesses alike. "People have been bending over backwards at the slightest ask -- an unbelievable outpouring," he said. "It's not surprising, but it's still really inspiring to see Minneapolis and the whole region just jump on board to do everything they can."

Midnight ceremonies are also planned at the courthouses of Minnesota's Polk and Clay counties. St. Paul has one scheduled to take place at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. Mall of America will also be hosting its first same-sex wedding celebration at the Chapel of Love at 12:01. More ceremonies are scheduled to take place across the state later on in the morning, with many couples opting to say their vows with the added pleasure of daylight. 

As was noted by MPR, Minnesota's ultimate embrace of marriage equality comes riding the tide of a rapid shift in public opinion. Not only did the state ban same-sex unions at one point, but one prior attempt to repeal the ban died when the measure was sent to voters for approval:

"After a divisive campaign that spurred many...to activism, Minnesota voters rejected the measure in November 2012 and gave the DFL control of both houses of the Legislature as well as the governor's office. Earlier this year, lawmakers approved legalizing same-sex marriage, and Gov. Mark Dayton signed the measure into law on May 14."

Rhode Island EqualityMeanwhile, in Rhode Island, city and town clerks have already been preparing to issue licenses, and have also fielded a high volume of calls from couples who were either interested in marriage licenses, or simply unsure as to the legal situation regarding their own union. The Providence Journal reports that:

"Providence and Pawtucket appeared to be the busiest as the Aug. 1 date approaches, with at least 7 couples taking advantage of a pre-registration period in Providence and more than 10 people calling with questions in Pawtucket. The questions have dealt with everything from what’s needed to get a marriage license to what a couple with a civil union has to do to marry to whether a couple that married elsewhere can marry here in Rhode Island."

Thanks to the new law, those wishing to apply for a license and get married, be they from inside or out of the state, will be able to do so. Those wishing to go from a civil union to a legal marriage have two options. They can either opt to have another ceremony declaring themselves legally married, or they can have their existing civil union license "merged" into a marriage license, eliminating the need for a ceremony. 

One of the first same-sex marriages in Rhode Island will take place in Providence, where State Rep. Frank Ferri, D-Warwick, will wed husband Tony Caparco once again. The two were married in Vancouver in 2006, but opted to have another ceremony to celebrate their legislative victory. Their ceremony will be officiated by House Speaker Gordon D. Fox, who championed the state's new same-sex marriage legislation.

Same-sex marriage ceremonies in Rhode Island will begin tomorrow in spite of a legal challenge that was filed yesterday in a Providence Superior Court. The challenge comes via Ronald L’Heureux, a cofounder of the Faith Alliance to Preserve the Sanctity of Marriage as Defined by God. L'Heureux brought with him a petition and complaint in an attempt to obtain a restraining order and stop the marriages. Luckily, Judge Daniel A. Procaccini promptly denied the request, and instead opted to schedule a hearing for August 9th. When asked exactly why he wished to obtain a temporary restraining order against all of the state's same-sex couples, the L'Heureux, who chose to represent himself, argued that same-sex couples would be violating the religious liberties of himself and others by having their unions recognized in the public sphere. “It violates the Constitution and causes irreparable harm, and once it passes they’re going to teach my children and grandchildren conduct that’s reprehensible to my faith,” he said in court.

Towleroad wishes to congratulate those couples who will be tying the knot tomorrow in the two states. 13 down...37 to go.


Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee Switches from Independent to Democrat

ChafeeRhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee has joined the Democratic Party, Politico reports:

Chafee quietly informed President Barack Obama of his intention to affiliate as a Democrat after reaching that decision in private, Chafee spokeswoman Christine Hunsinger said. The governor’s office confirmed Chafee’s plans after POLITICO reported that the governor had notified national Democrats that he’d be joining the party.

A former Republican who served with Obama in the Senate, Chafee has struggled with perilously low job approval ratings and faces a difficult reelection fight in 2014.


FOX News Has Devoted One Minute of Coverage to Gay Marriage Victories in RI, DE, and MN Combined

Coverage
Media Matters has posted a report on coverage from the cable news of the recent marriage equality victories in Minnesota, Delaware, and Rhode Island.

The report reveals this nugget: FOX News devoted exactly 16 seconds of coverage over the past couple of weeks to marriage equality in Rhode Island, 44 seconds to marriage equality in Minnesota, and 0 seconds to marriage equality in Delaware.

"According to an Equality Matters analysis, Fox News mentioned the marriage equality victories in Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota a total of three times. CNN and MSNBC made 13 and 35 mentions of the stories, respectively."


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