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06/28/2011

NOM doesn't want you having basic rights: Rhode Island edition

by Jeremy Hooper

In the wake of their crushing loss in New York, the National Organization For Marriage turns its organizational attention towards stopping Rhode Island civil unions:

The RI Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on House Bill 6103 as amended on Wednesday June 29th at 3:30 PM. This bill is a threat to one man/one woman marriage in that it is an open invitation to the Rhode Island courts to impose homosexual marriage on all Rhode Islanders without a vote of the people. This is what happened in Connecticut and California. In its text and intentions, HB 6103 equates civil unions with marriage, without providing a definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. This omission calls into question the legislative intent and what the Rhode Island Supreme Court called in Chambers v. Ormiston (2007), the presumed definition of marriage as the union of one man and one women. Without clear direction from the RI Legislature, the courts could easily find that Rhode Island must redefine marriage for all Rhode Islanders - without a vote of the people. Further, this bill has no protections for the religious liberties of business owners, professionals, or other individuals who wish to run their practices and businesses in accord with their deeply held religious beliefs. Such individuals in other states where civil unions or domestic partnerships are recognized have been successfully sued for discrimination when they chose not to serve same-sex couples. As a result, House Bill 6103 is a bad bill for marriage and family in Rhode Island and should be stopped. Please take the time today to email Senate Leadership, urging them to "Stop HB 6103."
Stop HB 6103 [NOM]

The courts will find civil unions inadequate if civil unions are -- wait for it, wait for it -- legally inadequate. Because here in America, we are a nation of laws. And protections. And checks. And balances. And elected representatives. And an independent judiciary. Not, as NOM would have you believe, a nation where "a vote of the people" gets to arbitrarily stymy whatever minority protections a bare majority might feel like rejecting in that given decade.

The bottom, undeniable line is that NOM wants gay couples to accept unequal placement within society. Period. They want us to sit down, shut up, and give thanks for whatever meager scraps heterosexual conservatives might deem us worthy of receiving. Based on what they are now saying -- standing in rejection of not only marriage, but also against both civil unions and domestic partnerships -- that is the only logical interpretation. Because if they did want the legal worth ably tested, NOMmers would trust the lawful tests that equality activists are bringing forth.

But they don't want fair legal scrutiny, which is why they put all faith (and we do mean faith) in cobbling together just enough voters who will buy into what they are selling. Why they want fears of supposed religious undermining to trump the concrete discrimination that exists all around us. Why they want to put the brakes on any and all progress, as they know that every benign step forward tramples the body of fallacious time-wasters that they've forced upon fair-minded society.

Break

**Zack Ford on how far the Rhode Island religious exemptions actually go. Too far, in his estimation: Rhode Island’s ‘Religious Exemptions’ Cross The Line, Invite Discrimination Against Civil Unions [Think Progress -LGBT]

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