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Jim Burroway

August 17th, 2011

That’s how many couples that have entered into civil unions since Rhode Island began offering them in July. There was a time when news of a new state offering civil unions was loudly cheered. But when marriage equality — which was seen as very doable earlier this year — was ditched in favor of a very pale hint of an imitation, it landed with a thud. And as a result, Rhode Islanders have stayed away in droves:

“If it had been marriage people would have been lining up,” said Dawn Euer, a spokeswoman for Marriage Equality Rhode Island. “People are holding out for marriage. They want true equality, not a made-up, bureaucratic, second-class status.”

…Give it time,” said Rep. Peter Petrarca, D-Lincoln. “It’s summer. I’m sure we’ll see an uptick once people start figuring it out and deciding what they want.”

Uh-huh. Funny, but it was also summer in New York and nobody had to ask anyone there to just “give it time.”



August 17th, 2011 | LINK

Since Rhode Island is small enough that a short drive to a neighboring state would get you full marriage, why settle for second best?

August 17th, 2011 | LINK

You get invited for breakfast and you find out they’re serving powered eggs. No wonder nobody went.

August 17th, 2011 | LINK

You get invited for breakfast and you find out they’re serving powdered eggs.

August 17th, 2011 | LINK

All couples should have the same deal offered on grounds of equal rights, but it doesn’t help to say civil unions are “bureaucratic” and “made up” because that is equally true of any marriage recognised by the state. (If the legislature can change who is eligible for it and what benefits it gives, then it is their creation for all purposes.) Being sentimental about marriage whilst not wanting to seperate it from the state is the root of opposition to gay marriage.

August 17th, 2011 | LINK

RI Senate – 29 Dems, 8 Republicans, 1 Independent

RI House – 65 Dems, 10 Republicans

And despite this overwhelming control of both houses of the legislature, the Democrats tell us that “the votes weren’t there” for marriage equality. What a complete and total betrayal.

Unfortunately, the RI gays don’t show any signs of creating their equivalent of FightBackNY, in which they knock off a target list of anti-gay Dems. Until they do that, or bribe Sen. Pres. Paiva-Weed, they will never get marriage.

August 17th, 2011 | LINK

How can you separate marriage from the state when marriage is granted, enforced and dissolved only by the state? That would mean marriage didn’t exist, seeing as how it’s only a function of the state.

Obviously, abolishing marriage would level the playing field for everyone, but, realistically, that is not going to happen. So why not make this purely state function equally available to couples regardless of their sexual orientation, as is our right as tax-paying state-supporting citizens? That would seem to be the easiest solution and is obviously the correct one.

As to sentimentality about anything, it’s fine if you have it, but it has no bearing on the law, basic human rights and equality.

August 17th, 2011 | LINK

Good to see people avoiding this embarrassment of civil unions in RI.

Half a loaf?

No thanks…. (what were those legislators thinking???)

August 17th, 2011 | LINK

Anti marriage equality people love to boast that marriage equality isn’t important because (according to them) only 0.000000000001% of the population is gay and only 0.0001% if them even want marriage. Let’s accept their bizarre math and statistics for a moment. Lets say that marriage had been made legal in Rhode Island, instead of Civil Unions, and the same number of people (or LESS) had shown up to marry, which is slightly possible, the response should be IT DOESN’T MATTER ONE BIT how many people take advantage of the right to marry. A civil right should be available to EVERYONE even if NO ONE wants to take advantage of it.

Priya Lynn
August 17th, 2011 | LINK

Zeke, the other hole in their logic is if they really believe virtually no gays are going to marry how is gays marrying supposed to destroy heterosexual marriages?

Rebecca Ashling
August 17th, 2011 | LINK

So if I counted the zeroes correctly, these people say only one in a trillion people are gay or lesbian, and only one in ten thousand of these want to be married. Can’t they apply simple arithmetic to their hyperbole? There are only about 6.8 humans on this planet after all.

Rebecca Ashling
August 17th, 2011 | LINK

6.8 billion humans. Silly typo!

August 17th, 2011 | LINK

@Rebecca, sorry I wasn’t more clear in my tongue in cheek method of pointing out the absurdity of Anti-gay Inc.’s claims about the gay community.

To hear them talk you would think that only 1 in ten trillion people are gay. Maybe I left off a zero. :)

Rob in San Diego
August 17th, 2011 | LINK

They probably all went to New York.

August 18th, 2011 | LINK

Gays and lesbians are finally understanding two things about civil unions/domestic partnerships after following the UK and France experience. First, civil marriage is a government construct – if it’s good enough for the straights why should gays have to settle for second class? The second point is that civil unions are NOT a stepping-stone to marriage; so far, the political bigots have said: “Those greedy gays and lesbians (they aren’t that polite) aren’t satisfied with what WE’VE given them. Shut up and go away.”

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