Friday, February 27, 2009

R.I.'s dueling same-sex marriage bills elicit personal stories

2/27/09 The Providence Journal:

According to Marriage Equality Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony yesterday on "The Marriage Equality bill, S0147, introduced by Senators Perry, Sosnowski, Pichardo, Miller, and Levesque; and the opposition legislation, S0136, introduced by Senator Blais."

This Providence Journal article reports on the testimony. Mark S. Goldberg told the Committee, "I felt as if I was treated not as a second-class citizen, but as a non-citizen." He was describing what he experienced when the police and the state medical examiner's office denied his claim to the body of his deceased partner, so that he could fulfill his partner's wish to have his remains cremated.

Another witness was the Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, and board member of the National Organization for Marriage Rhode Island. "Contrary to the assertion of others," he said, "this is not an issue about civil rights." He affirmed that "that homosexual activity is immoral and contrary to natural law, the tenets of the Bible and the teaching of the Church."

The NY Times endorses the bill that extends the right of marriage to same-sex couples.

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