Rhode Island is poised to become the tenth state in our union to legalize gay marriage. The state senate approved a bill extending marriage rights by a vote of 26-12, not a landslide but a great enough margin where you can tell there was a common theme here. This has even gone so far to have independent Lincoln Chafee, who was Governor when I lived there, and the Senate Republican Caucus has all expressed unanimous support for the bill.
There are of course, the naysayers in all of this. According to CNN.com, The Rhode Island Catholic Conference said Tuesday in a statement posted on its website that it appreciated that exemptions for religious organizations had been included in the bill. “Unfortunately, the exemptions fail to protect individuals and small businesses who believe that marriage is a union of one man and one woman,” it said.
Scott Spear, an advisory board member of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Marriage, said he would have preferred the fate of the bill be decided in a public referendum rather than by the Senate. “We believe the record of marriage as has existed throughout the history of civilization stands for an empirical truth, and that truth is a marriage is a union between one man and one woman,” he said in a telephone interview.
As much as I want to say Scott Spear has a point here, he really doesn’t. Yes he can say marriage is between one man and one woman, but love is love folks. For people to deny gay men and women the right to legally marry someone when the divorce rate in this country is at an all time high and people like Britney Spears can get married for 55 hours in Vegas chapel and have it be legal all for a publicity stunt I have to call bullshit on that.
What further surprises me is why of all the New England states Rhode Island was the last one to jump on this bandwagon. When i lived there, there seemed to be more gay bars in downtown Providence than their were straight ones, and Gay Pride is a really huge event as well. To a certain degree though, Rhode Island is a very unique state in that there is a lot of cow country there and then it gets really industrial once you hit the Providence area, so it might just be the old fashioned thinking people who had a large say in this. It is also run by several Democrats so the thought of this taking so long truly has baffled me. Nevertheless, it seems to be going in the right direction.
Iowa, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Washington and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage. Their combined populations, based on U.S. Census estimates for 2012, represent 15.8% of the U.S. population. Let’s keep the number of states rising everyone, if these ten states can figure it out the other forty should be able to as well. That’s all.