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06/30/2011

NOM rejects RI civil unions (amid pretense that support was ever an option)

by Jeremy Hooper

A coalition of LGBT groups strongly oppose the just-passed bill that would bring civil unions to Rhode Island, precisely because the religious exemptions attached to the proposal are extremely overreaching and dangerous. And these groups are hoping that Governor Lincoln Chafee, a strong marriage equality supporter, will veto the bill before it can become law.

But on the flip side, the National Organization for Marriage Rhode Island -- led by Chris Plante, a man who has labeled same-sex-headed families a "tragic situation" on par with dead parents and said that gays adopt so they can turn children into "accessories" like "teacup dogs" -- is lashing out against the civil unions for another reason entirely. Namely: Because no set of religious protections, regardless of how overstepping they may be, will ever be enough to satisfy the NOM crowd's unending desire to deny gay couples of any and all recognition:

“This is a disappointing and dangerous day for marriage in Rhode Island. The passage of Civil Unions presents a clear threat to the definition of marriage and the religious liberties of tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders,” declared Chris Plante, executive director, NOM – Rhode Island.

Hiding behind the idea of “compromise” and ignoring the almost universal opposition to this bill, the Rhode Island Senate has opened the door for the courts of Rhode Island to redefine marriage without a vote of the people. The Senate’s refusal to allow a definition of marriage to be inserted into the bill is either a deliberate omission to set the stage for a future law suit or a naïve belief that homosexual marriage advocates will now go away. Further, by not including an “inseverability” clause, the Senate has left vulnerable the hard won religious liberties protections put into the bill by the House of Representatives.

The National Organization for Marriage – Rhode Island is pleased that this bill has unprecedented protections for religious liberties in a civil union bill, however we are well aware that the protections do not go far enough to protect the religious liberties of business owners and professionals who wish to run their practices according to their deeply held religious beliefs. By not extending these protections to individuals the Senate has put at risk the myriad of small businesses and practices run by people of faith. These voters do not have the resources to defend against lawsuits and as such are left with the tragic choice of betraying their faith or risking their livelihoods.

NOM-RI: Passage of Same-Sex Civil Unions Bill in Rhode Island A Disappointing and Dangerous Day for Marriage [NOM]

Beyond stopping gay coupling overall, the only thing that would come close to pleasing NOM is a world where any person in any role could arbitrarily pick and choose when he or she feels like fulfilling the duties of his or her job. NOMmers want town clerks who can look gay taxpayers in the eye and say "No, I don't believe in your life(style)." They want cake bakers who are free to turn away any potential customer whose gayness the pastry chefs see as the real Devil's food. They want public accommodations that receive special tax breaks which are dependent on non-discrimination (the exact scenario of NOM's much referenced Ocean Grove, NJ pavilion matter) to be able to ignore nondiscrimination when it applies to LGBT citizens. They want small businesses to be able to place "No shirt, no shoes, no love for genitals that differ from your own -- no service" signs in their windows. In short: They want a sense of religious freedom that's ensconced in some sort of impenetrable glass placed high atop a government-sanctioned moral pedestal -- free from scrutiny, divergence, or recognition of the kind of basic civil rights respect that's demanded of a strong, accommodating community.

Break

*Those aforementioned comments:

"When parents die and we have orphans...
we see those as tragic situations.
Same-sex marriage enshrines a tragic situation into law,
where a child is intentionally denied either his mother or his father.
"

"And maybe will become an accessory. You'll probably
like this and I'll stand on it -- it turns children into little
teacup dogs. It's an accessory to put in my purse.
"

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