Marriage Equality advocates say these exemptions, part of the Corvese Amendment, go much further than any other state that has legalized same-sex marriage or civil unions. The letter reads, in part:
“The bill put forth by the legislature would create onerous and discriminatory hurdles for same-sex couples that no other state has ever put in place. As a result, we ask you to veto the bill should it come to your desk in its present form,” MERI and nine other civil rights and pro-equality groups wrote in a letter sent today to Chafee. The list of the signers include: MERI, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, The Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, National Center for Lesbian Rights, The Family Equality Council, as well as The American Civil Liberties Union.MERI Board Chair Martha Holt said in a statement, “This bill cannot be allowed to pass in its current form. If the House and Senate lack the fortitude or political courage to remove this bigoted and hurtful language from the civil union legislation, then the Governor will have no reasonable choice other than to veto the bill."
Holt added, “The Corvese Amendment condones and codifies discrimination, it has the potential to harm thousands of Rhode Islanders in loving, committed relationships, and we are asking the governor do all in his power to prevent it from becoming law”.