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Rhode Island civil unions move along in the Senate

Timothy Kincaid

June 1st, 2011

Gay advocates are disappointed by the bill, anti-gay advocates oppose anything like it. In fact, there may only be about 100 people in all of Rhode Island who really want the civil unions bill and all of them may be in the legislature.

I once said, decades ago in college student government, that a perfect compromise is one in which neither side wins. And while that language is perhaps less than poetic, it has truth. While I don’t believe that this is an area in which we should settle for less than full equality, nor do I see any reason for incremental steps in Rhode Island, in term of compromise this is not a bad one. For an unnecessary compromise.

But civil unions are what Rhode Island is getting, and all it’s getting for now, so perhaps we should decide to be happy about it.

Tomorrow the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the bill.

Comments

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Tony P
June 1st, 2011 | LINK

If it becomes the law I will civil union my partner and then proceed to sue the State of Rhode Island, the Speaker of the House, and the Senate President for violation of my Article 1 Section 2 civil rights.

Amicus
June 1st, 2011 | LINK

CU is not a compromise, it’s a loss.

One can’t even see it as a compromise between DP and marriage. Actually, why is CU any better than DP?

Ryan
June 2nd, 2011 | LINK

If DOMA is ruled unconstitutional, Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships will have even less value than they have now. Even in the bluest states, we can’t get it done. This is huge loss. And meanwhile, Bloomberg continues inexplicably to pretend that the GOP controlled Senate will ever vote for equality there in NY. It’s beginning to look more and more like Olsen and Boises are our only hope.

Sam
June 2nd, 2011 | LINK

I’m happy to see Rhode Island passing civil unions. I will always support marriage equality but I feel that civil unions and domestic partnerships are a great first step and I have never been against the incremental approach to full equality. I think there will be more reason to move states to full marriage equality once DOMA is struck down but it also helps to keep talking to people on why marriage equality is needed.

Amicus
June 2nd, 2011 | LINK

Only one state supreme court (CA) has ruled that separate is indeed unequal on this matter and the more states that pile on to the contrary view in the meanwhile, the less likely the just outcome of an “incremental” process will come about.

The ‘status quo’ is a powerful thing. It’s not clear that fervor for real equality will remain.

In the meantime, opponents are geared up to ‘make CU stick’. We’ve already seen their political memes on display, e.g. ‘it’s not really THAT bad and whatever you say is lacking in it, we can try to fix it, by education and stuff.’

If there is a case to be made for “incremental” it is DP, which has some of the benefits of marriage, but not all the obligations. CU, on the other hand, has all the obligations, yet not all of the benefits. That’s just another reason why it’s an inferior interim step.

TonyJazz
June 3rd, 2011 | LINK

If this was about Alabama or Indiana, I could forgive their backwardness. However, this is an embarrassment for all people in Rhode Island, as that state is one that should ‘know better’.

Don’t support this mess. Tell your representatives that they’ve wasted their time, and to support equal treatment for all adults.

After all, this is civil marriage we’re demanding, and that’s the only option for the Northeastern part of this country.

Stefano A
June 24th, 2011 | LINK

While we’re all watching what will happen in New York, I’m hesitant to bump this up with a comment, but I’ve been wondering whatever happened with Rhode Island?

Timothy Kincaid
June 24th, 2011 | LINK

Stefano… this is in limbo… it’s an interesting state of being. I’m not sure exaclty what’s going on

Stefano A
June 27th, 2011 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid:

Thanks! I didn’t know if it had died in committee or been voted down, or just what happened.

I did note today, however, that the Senate Judiciary is schedule to vote on the civil unions bill Wednesday (29 June).

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