Rhode Island: 60% support marriage equality

A new poll conducted by the Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown
University, found that 60.4 percent of respondents favored allowing
same-sex couples to legally wed
, a number that is nearly identical to
the findings of a May 2009 poll by Brown.

The poll found 26.1 percent of
respondents were opposed to same-sex marriage.

The poll surveyed 593 Rhode Island voters from Feb. 21 to 23, and has a 4 point margin of error. 

Freedom To Marry announces $2 million in support for marriage equality in 6 states

According to Buzzfeed, Freedom to Marry has just announced they plan to spend $2 million in 2013 to advance marriage equality efforts around the country:

According to a statement provided to BuzzFeed, Freedom to Marry is starting the 2013 effort — called the Win More States Fund — by investing $800,000 in the six states where marriage bills are being debated: Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

“Building on our 4 for 4 ballot victories in November, Freedom to Marry is calling on supporters to join us in continuing the momentum and winning still more states in 2013.

“With the clock ticking on the Supreme Court’s review of marriage cases, we want to make as much progress as we can – and with battles already underway now in state capitals, we all need to put our money where our momentum is,” Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, said in a statement.

Rhode Island: House to vote on marriage equality today

After passing in the bill in the House Judiciary committee yesterday, a vote by the full House is scheduled for 4PM today.

Gay marriage legislation has been introduced every year in the General Assembly since 1997, but Thursday’s vote will mark the first time the issue has received a vote in either the House or Senate. The bill has 42 sponsors in the 75-member House — an indication of just how easily it could pass. The bill’s longtime sponsor, Rep. Art Handy, D-Cranston, said he’s seen a widespread change of opinion on gay marriage and that even some previously staunch opponents in the legislature may give the bill a second thought when the roll is called.

The vote in the state Senate is expected to be much closer. Stay tuned.

Rhode Island: NOM runs full page anti-gay marriage newspaper ad

Well, it wouldn’t be the same fight for equality without the National Organization for Marriage twisting facts into lies, would it?

Rhode Islanders United For Marriage ticks off the lies:

Claim: Faith organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus, will be forced to host same-sex weddings in their facilities against their will.

Fact: A Vermont inn refused to host a same-sex wedding and was penalized. However, the legal repercussions were not due to Vermont’s marriage equality law, but rather a state anti-discrimination law. The inn owners cited “personal feelings” to justify their decision not to host the wedding of a lesbian couple. But Vermont’s Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act prohibits public accommodations, such as inns, restaurants and schools that serve the public, “from denying goods and services based on customers’ sexual orientation.” Rhode Island law currently prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and HB5015 will not
change affect that protection.

Claim: Small businesses that oppose marriage equality will face lawsuits.

Fact: A Seattle Times investigation “failed to turn up any evidence that same-sex marriage had produced a rash of suits involving businesspeople.” The Times “also checked with human rights commissions in four of the six states where marriage is legal; the commissions said there was not an increase in discrimination findings or suits involving same sex marriage.”

Claim: People have been fired from their job for opposing marriage equality.

Fact: NOM claims Canadian sportscaster Damian Goddard was fired from his position with Rogers Sportnet after tweeting his opposition to marriage equality. Sportsnet denied that assertion, noting “well documented” reasons for his termination, saying it ”had already made the decision to terminate Mr. Goddard for cause.”

JoeMyGod has it right: “The debunking goes on for several more paragraphs, but really, none of this is news to us here.  NOM is a lying group of compulsive lying liars for whom no lie is too petty or even too outrageous if they believe it furthers the goals of the Vatican.”

Rhode Island: Governor Chafee launches marriage equality campaign from local church

House Speaker Gordon Fox has called a vote on gay marriage legislation in his chamber by month’s end, making Rhode Island the latest state to address an issue whose supporters see things swinging their way after last November’s election.

The House Judiciary Committee is set to hear testimony from supporters and opponents on Tuesday.

If earlier hearings are any indication, it’s likely to be a long, contentious day filled with protest signs, tears and sometimes bitter arguments over one of our culture’s most basic institutions.

Via YahooNews

Rhode Island: Governor says “pass marriage equality now”

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has issued a statement that he will likely veto any attempt to put same-sex marriage to a public vote.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee told reporters Thursday that lawmakers owe it to voters to decide themselves. The state House of Representatives is expected to vote within weeks on legislation that would allow gay and lesbian couples to wed. But some opponents have voiced support for alternative legislation that would put the question before voters. Same-sex marriage supporters say the issue is one of civil rights and shouldn’t be decided by a vote. Rhode Island is now the only state in New England without same-sex marriage.

Through a White House spokesman, President Obama has endorsed marriage equality in Rhode Island.

“While the President does not weigh in on every measure being considered by the states, he believes all couples should be treated fairly and equally, with dignity and respect,” said White House spokesperson Shin Inouye. “As he has said, his personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so.”