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On Equality

The House Judiciary Committee is voting on Marriage Equality next week. This needs to be passed.


The Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee is set to vote on bill number HB5015, the Marriage Equality Bill, next Tuesday. This bill needs to be voted on in the affirmative so that citizens of this country, a country founded on the ideal that all men are created equal, can experience the equality denied them for so long. There are many same-sex couples in this state that would like to take advantage of this right because they love each other, but they can’t, I would like to see this changed.

According to Steve Ahlquist, writing in RI Future.org, several anti-equality groups attended a hearing on HB5015 last week. They included a group formed by Christopher Grant of NOM-RI (National Organization for Marriage) who joined The Faith Alliance to Preserve the Sanctity of Marriage as Established by God. Also in attendance, joining with the above was Brian Camenker, head of MassAlliance (a Southern Poverty Law Center certified hate group). There is a video clip that goes with this article in which you see those against and for the bill. A boy testifies about his family, he has two moms and two dads. He speaks of the love he feels in his family and hopes that one day we will look back in disbelief at the discrimination that occurred during this time. I hope so.

Many of those opposed to marriage equality do so on religious grounds, they say God says it is wrong. They preach that it is wrong to let two people of the same sex marry because it belittles the sanctity of the institution. This religious sanctity has no place in the law, we do not mix religion and politics in this country, at least we are not supposed to. They also say this sanctity has been present since the beginning of time in the church. This is wrong. The Catholic Church really only got involved in marriage issues during the Middle Ages, sometime around the 12th century. Until then, and even after, it was a legal or business contract, no sanctity there. Now we allow marriage for love. That is a tradition worth extending to all people who wish it.

I would like to see the bill pass and thus allow those same-sex couples wishing to marry to be able to. The law only does what’s right and removes barriers that should never have been there in the first place. We allow interracial couples to marry now, when once this was forbidden. Our country is great, but we have not always obeyed the ideals we were founded on. This we have been correcting. Shouldn’t we correct this mistake as well?

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Chuck Newton January 20, 2013 at 09:09 PM
How 'bout we let civil authorities issue certificates of civil union to everyone, and let the churches make their own decisions about marriage. Marriage started as a religious sacrament, did it not? Let's get the state out of the marriage business and focused on making rights and privileges available without reference to race, creed, color - or sex.
Leave RI January 21, 2013 at 03:53 AM
How 'bout we let the people vote on how their tax money is spent on entitlements. You know the commercial "it's our money..spend it on what we want"..
Renee Cwiek January 21, 2013 at 02:23 PM
How about the church just accept the fact that anyone should be allowed to marry who they want and stop making it so difficult? I don't think it really matters where or how it started.
Kendall Pelletier January 21, 2013 at 02:55 PM
i honestly think if someone loves someone then they should be able to marry who they want you can not help who you love.
bimbels January 21, 2013 at 03:05 PM
This is civil rights issue and I will be happy when the supreme court finally rules on it so states won't be allowed to legislate discrimination. But in the meantime, I hope the RI Judiciary Committee passes it.
Joe Sousa. January 21, 2013 at 03:13 PM
States over the years have lead the charge on issues pertaining to Federal law . If enough States agree to change the law Congress will follow. All politics starts at home.
Rags 1 January 21, 2013 at 03:55 PM
There is a difference between equity and equality. Most people want equity and know that they can not have equality. We try to create the same by laws and politics, but the reality is equity is what is sought.
Robert E January 22, 2013 at 06:30 PM
It's time for people to stop using the bible as an excuse for bigotry. Bigotry and Hatred wrapped in Religion are still Bigotry and Hatred. Religion enables the bigoted and hateful to believe that their bigotry and hatred is virtue. Don’t make excuses for homophobia that you wouldn’t make for racism. Just imagine a Christian saying: I have a deep conviction in the authority of the Bible. And the Bible clearly approves of slavery, and in fact commands it in some cases (Exodus 22:3; Deuteronomy 20:10-11, 14). Furthermore, I belive, based on Genesis 9:25-27, that the descendants of Ham are to be the slaves of the descendants of Shem and Japheth, and after deep reflection I’ve concluded that Africans are the modern-day descendants of Ham. So please don’t call my support for enslaving Africans bigotry. It’s not. It is a working out of deep convictions. Bigots will be just as free to hate same sex marriage when it’s legal as they did when it was not. The difference is that nobody will be legally obligated to give a crap what they think.
Still Hope January 22, 2013 at 07:51 PM
Nice try Chuck. Blacks and whites used different drinking fountains. Instead of natural integration into the same fountain, you would prefer that we remove the drinking fountains and hand out bottled water. You are missing the point.
lauren carson January 22, 2013 at 08:07 PM
I can almost buy into what Chuck has proposed. Really separate church and state. And while we are at that, let's tax them, too.
Ericka Forman January 22, 2013 at 09:35 PM
The bill just past unanimously out of the Judiciary Committee and is going to the House for a full vote, maybe as soon as Thursday. We can hope it passes for all of those awaiting the legal right to marry in this state. It will still have to pass the Senate after that. The fight is not over, but one hurdle has been jumped. This is the first time the bill has gotten out of committee. Mr. Giarrusso, please look into your heart and change your mind on this issue. It is about discrimination and equality, but also about two people loving each other enough to marry.
bimbels January 23, 2013 at 02:25 AM
To Chuck: Marriage did not start out as a religious sacrament. It morphed into that thouands of years into it - It began as a social contract that had to do with families consolidating land, wealth, power - religion had nothing to do with it until relatively recently. But I do agree that if the government insists on affording certain rights to whoever the legal spouse is, then everyone should have civil union certificates. If couples want their "marriage" to also be sanctioned by your church, then that's an additional step that's up to them.
Fred Engels January 25, 2013 at 04:54 AM
Marx argues that the monogamous bourgeois nuclear family developed to help solve the problem of the inheritance of private property. The men needed to know who their children were in order to pass on their property to their heirs. The family was therefore thought to be by Marxists as designed to control women and protect property. The Bourgeois nuclear family emerged with capitalism. It is patriarchal as designed to guarantee and encourage male power through the inheritance of property. It therefore serves the interests of capitalism. Capitalism must fail, and the traditional sense of family will ultimately fail with it. This is all coming together nicely, taking a bit longer than originally envisioned though. Progress is hard. Keep fighting for equality! http://www.studymode.com/essays/Asses-The-Marxist-View-
Fred Engels January 25, 2013 at 04:59 AM
Yes!Exactly! State is the most important thing, everyone ought to realize it! Once we abandon our inclination of selfishness, we will be able to really begin to realize our aspirations. Church is a weakness, a residual from a primitive time. There is no longer a use or need for it. Not only has it outlived it's usefulness, it is now dangerous as it promotes the wrong ideals and attempts to focus attentions on "family" for the sole purpose of propagating social inequality. Ultimately, "marriage" itself will completely disappear, then we will know that true equality is near!
Fred Engels January 25, 2013 at 05:09 AM
Kendall Conroy - Woody Allen said it best when asked to explain his marriage to his step-daughter. He said, "The heart wants what the heart wants."
Maxin February 03, 2013 at 12:42 PM
How about we do away with marriage and give the federal and state benefits to everyone. Religion is just a business like any other business looking to make money on the believers. I use to be one but the church has been and is immoral to society abusing children for decades and think nothing of it. Hoping the good believers will stay and pay for them to do it again only this time they will keep it secret... The worst sin is to prey on the innocent and they been doing it for centuries. I believe in god but I also believe him never though of paying to pray to him. Confession is just another way the church gets off on your sins. God is great but you don’t need church to have god.
Dan D February 03, 2013 at 03:53 PM
I am oddly in agreement. Currently 13 states have marriage equality or civil unions, with the number growing by 1 or 2 every year. The Fed will have no choice but to flip. Even the Armed forces recognizes gay marriages performed in ME states.
Dan Johnson February 07, 2013 at 04:29 PM
And still, no rational reason has been presented for denial of equal treatment under the law as required by the constitution. Fear remains the primary tool. "The Court finds that neither Congress' claimed legislative justifications nor any of the proposed reasons proffered by BLAG constitute bases rationally related to any of the alleged governmental interests. Further, after concluding that neither the law nor the record can sustain any of the interests suggested, the Court, having tried on its own, cannot conceive of any additional interests that DOMA might further." "Prejudice, we are beginning to understand, rises not from malice or hostile animus alone. It may result as well from insensitivity caused by simple want of careful, rational reflection or from some instinctive mechanism to guard against people who appear to be different in some respects from ourselves." Conclusion: DOMA, as it relates to Golinski's case, "violates her right to equal protection of the law under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution" and "the statute fails to satisfy heightened scrutiny and is unconstitutional as applied to Ms. Golinski." http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/02/22/BA1T1NB5MR.DTL#ixzz1qkJgYHDp
Dan Johnson February 07, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Equal treatment under the laws currently in effect is what is sought. Equal treatment is not only a promise of the founding documents, it is required by the 5th and 14th amendments to the constitution. "In the court’s final analysis, the government’s only basis for supporting DOMA comes down to an apparent belief that the moral views of the majority may properly be enacted as the law of the land in regard to state-sanctioned same-sex marriage in disregard of the personal status and living conditions of a significant segment of our pluralistic society. Such a view is not consistent with the evidence or the law as embodied in the Fifth Amendment with respect to the thoughts expressed in this decision. The court has no doubt about its conclusion: ...DOMA deprives them of the equal protection of the law to which they are entitled."

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