Friday, July 1, 2011

LGBT Groups Ask RI Gov to Veto Civil Unions Bill

A woman makes her support of her marriage, and...Image via WikipediaA coalition of national LGBT equality organizations has joined Marriage Equality Rhode Island (MERI) in signing a letter calling on Governor Lincoln Chafee to veto the civil unions bill passed by state legislators this week. At issue are exemptions for religious groups and those organizations affiliated with them, that allows them to ignore the legal rights and commitments of couples in a civil union.

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”.

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1 comment:

  1. There will always be two distinct camps of LGBT activists. One comprises those who will beg and beg for whatever they can get, regardless of where it falls below the definition of equality. To them, the incremental, yet restricted push forward is worth it, and we should be thankful and hopeful. The other camp says..wait a minute, this is crap and we don't want or need to be fed crumbs from the floor, we don't need progress at the price of hurtful, inequitable and discrimintory compromises. While mindful that some will disagree with me, I proudly belong to the latter camp...give me marriage or give me nothing. Full equality means full equality, is this so hard to understand? I believe when we compromise, we are oppressing ourselves, as the other side wishes us to do.


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