RI overrides veto, provides barest minimum of couple recognition

Timothy Kincaid

January 5th, 2010

Last year, the Rhode Island legislature voted to recognize domestic partners and allow them to have one single right: the right to make funeral arrangements for each other. The law was based on compassion for Mark Goldberg, a Rhode Island resident who spent more than a month trying to collect the body of the man he’d spent the last 17 years with and to whom he was married.

Although it is hard for any compassionate person to object to the notion, Governor Carcieri vetoed the legislation, seeing it as “a disturbing trend over the past few years of the incremental erosion of the principles surrounding traditional marriage”. To Carcieri’s credit he did meet with representatives of gay organizations, including Goldberg, and announced that he would be willing to consider an “almost anything but marriage” domestic partnership law which would resolve a number of issues, rather than an incremental approach.

So then who would possibly want to oppose the overturn of this veto?

Hello? did you really need to ask? The National Organization for Marriage, of course. They sent out an email to the legislators begging them to uphold the veto.

The said that there’s no reason to allow domestic partners any rights at all and besides it was all just Goldman’s carelessness. He could have just hunted down a special form and had it notarized, you see.

Rather than being compassionate, the legislation in question is actually an exploitation of Mr. Goldberg’s tragedy by the homosexual-marriage activists in Rhode Island. Despite their claims to the contrary, these bills serve simply as “Trojan Horses” for homosexual-marriage.

Really, they should just change their name to “The National Organization for No Recognition of Same-Sex Couples, Whatsoever”.

But today the Rhode Island legislature ignored NOM’s impassioned plea for bigotry and overrode Carcieri’s veto. (LA Times)

Rhode Island lawmakers voted Tuesday to allow same-sex and unmarried couples the right to plan the funerals of their late partners, overriding a veto by the governor, who warned it eroded traditional marriage.

The bill passed 67-3 in the House and 31-3 in the Senate, and enjoyed support from several Republican lawmakers, who in the same party as Gov. Don Carcieri, an adamant opponent of same-sex marriage in a state that does not recognize gay unions.

Although Rhode Island is overwhelmingly controlled by the Democratic Party and is overwhelmingly Catholic (who support marriage equality in higher numbers than other demographics). But despite polls showing that the residents strongly support marriage (and even more strongly civil unions) the Party leadership in both the Senate and the House are opposed to equality. So couple recognition is limited to burial rights.

But this is, nevertheless, an important step. The legislature has recognized – in overwhelming numbers – that same-sex relationships are legitimate and comprised of real Rhode Islanders who need the state to work with them, not against them, in pursuing a good life.

Pam’s House Blend reports the “no” votes:

The three representatives who voted no were

Arthur Corvese (D-North Providence)
Jon Brien (D-Woonsocket)
Lisa Baldelli-Hunt (D-Woonsocket)

In the Senate, there were two votes (on the two versions of the bill) and the no votes were slightly different on each one:

Leo Blais (R-Coventry)
Michael Pinga (D-West Warwick)
Marc Cote (D-Woonsocket) on one version, and

Leo Blais (R-Coventry)
Marc Cote (D-Woonsocket)
Edward O’Neill (I-Lincoln) on the other.


January 5th, 2010

So that makes 6 DINOs that need to be defeated and them and their families run out of the state.

Priya Lynn

January 5th, 2010

And their families run out of the state?! Get a grip Trevor.


January 6th, 2010

Alright their families can stay. I can’t imagine they’re very close anyway.

Josh Indiana

January 6th, 2010

Episcopal Café, a website offered by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C., linked to this article.

The Episcopal Church is currently developing marriage rites for same-sex couples. (It’s my church and I’m proud of it!)


January 6th, 2010

Even small steps are good steps. For that I’m thankful.


January 7th, 2010

I’m glad this got passed, and glad that NOM wasn’t listened to on this one.

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