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04/01/2011

VT Guv's seen same-sex marriage and lived to tell the tale; shares coping skills with RI

by Jeremy Hooper

Peter-ShumlinVermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) was in Rhode Island yesterday, cutting through the National Organization For Marriage's noise in order to share his own firsthand experience with the oft-misrepresented concept that is marriage equality:

The Democratic governor, elected in November, said the experience in Vermont — which approved civil unions in 2000 and approved same-sex marriage in 2009 — shows that rather than causing the “sky to fall in,” legalizing same-sex marriage addressed a civil-rights issue and also helped the local economy.

“It was the kind of state we wanted to be,” he said. “One family, with all the same civil rights.”

Vermont governor visits R.I. to support same-sex marriage [Providence Journal]

But of course where there is talk of unity and peace, there is also faith-based conviction trying to stop the same. This is how Providence Journal describes yesterday's counter effort:

While Chafee and Shumlin talked, about 40 people, most of them from the Hispanic Ministerial Association of Rhode Island, prayed and held signs outside the State Room to voice opposition to same-sex marriage and support for traditional marriage.

“We don’t consider it to be a civil-rights issue,” said Ida Nogueras, pastor of Gethsemane Church, in Pawtucket. “We believe that it’s a choice.”

Vermont governor visits R.I. to support same-sex marriage [Providence Journal]

Well frankly, Ms. Nogueras, you can consider it swiss cheese if you want. What matters is what the facts on the ground (and in the constitution) say. And in Vermont, as they inevitably will in Rhode Island and elsewhere, those facts say that (a) LGBT people exist, (b) civil rights are for all and not some, and (c) the anti-LGBT religious community's supposed list of horribles have more than proven themselves to be little more than exercises in false-witness-bearing.

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