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In Carcieri's actions, incarceration has seemed near-fetched. So it's gonna take a lot to win our trust

by Jeremy Hooper

CarcieriHe has raised funds for the incendiary Massachusetts Family Institute. He's expressed support for the hurt-gays-at-all-costs NOM organization. And just this week, he vetoed a bill that would have simply helped same-sex partners to bury their partners with dignity. So you'll have to forgive us if we have trouble believing any of this:

PROVIDENCE — Two days after vetoing a bill giving domestic partners the right to make funeral decisions for each other, a conciliatory Governor Carcieri told a gay-rights activist group he is open to supporting a domestic-partnership law that bestows many if not all of the rights of marriage, without the right to marry.

“Maybe it’s something we should consider,” said Carcieri, after meeting privately Thursday for more than an hour in his office with a half-dozen members of Queer Action of Rhode Island, a group that in the immediate aftermath of his veto had labeled him “a bigot.”

Among those attending was Mark Goldberg, the Providence East Sider whose five-week battle to claim the body of his partner of 17 years from the state morgue, had sparked the vetoed legislation.

Citing as a possible model the “everything but marriage” referendum that won approval in the state of Washington earlier this month, Carcieri said: “I don’t know enough, yet. All I am saying is I understand the circumstances. I understand the difficulties” that can arise for same-sex couples and others — such as widows living with widowers, and widows with other widows — outside the legal framework of a traditional marriage.

“Let’s see if we can find a way to solve that without discreet [pieces] of legislation every time something comes up. I just don’t think that is the right way to deal with it,” he said.
: Carcieri open to domestic partnership law [ProJo]

Look, we traffic in evidence, not lip service. The MFI and NOM are among the nation's most homo-hostile groups, with the former group supporting "the healing of" gays. The decision to veto a funeral bill was an eye-openingly hostile act. So we're not going to believe that Gov. Carcieri is "open" to domestic partnerships, simply because he said a slightly better words during a week when he is under intense public scrutiny. Sorry.

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Your thoughts

So will this everything-but-marriage bill be everything-but-marriage-but-when-your-partner-dies-you-can't-bury-him?

Posted by: DN | Nov 13, 2009 10:26:45 AM

I read on another blog the opinion that this is a flat-out lie. He has less than a year left in office and he knows that no domestic partnership legislation will be brought forward in that time, so he can make bullshit statements like this, knowing that he'll never have to back up his words with real actions.


Posted by: Leslie | Nov 13, 2009 10:41:08 AM

@Leslie: I was wondering what the catch was, since he obviously wasn't going to support any legislative rights! I think it would be highly appropriate, given his now public statement, to draft a bill doing just that. Whether he's the one having to sign or veto it or not, he'll have been the one who effectively introduced the bill.

Make sure to go back through public statements of religious leaders too, just so that they can't go back on their word without coming off as hypocritical bigots. Break out the soundbites! ;)

Posted by: Dave | Nov 13, 2009 1:50:22 PM

And here's an email exchange I had with the leader of Queer Action RI. Granted, I'm glad she met with the Governor, but I question her ability to lead.

Highlights Of My Email Exchange With Susan Heroux

Posted by: Tony P | Nov 13, 2009 5:24:36 PM

Tony, is there a link for us? May not have come through in the comment interface...

Posted by: DN | Nov 13, 2009 10:41:48 PM

It doesn't really matter. This guy is going to be out of office in a year and, from what I've heard, it seems likely that the next governor will be pro marriage equality. I expect we will have full marriage equality in Rhode Island in 2011.

Posted by: Ken | Nov 14, 2009 2:38:00 AM

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