| | Advanced Search

 

TONIGHT: Fund for Community Progress Honors GoLocalProv + ACLU—Recognizing outstanding contributions to the RI community

Deadline for newportFILM’s Ripple Effect Video Contest is Friday—Drawing attention to RI's coastline + waterways

Patriots’ 2014 Schedule Released—Patriots' 2014 Schedule Released

John Perilli: Battle Heats Up to Succeed Fox in House District 4—Keep an eye on this one...

Newport Goes Daffy with Weeklong Daffodil Celebration—Over 250,000 blooming daffodils on display

B’s Dominate Wings, Take Game 3—shut out Detroit 3-0 to take 2-1 series…

Organize + Energize: 4 Ways Getting Organized Will Save You Money—Stop wasting time and money

Dear John: Single Dad - How Do I Handle Daughter’s Adolescence?—How to support your daughter through puberty

State Report: Marijuana Tax + Bill Targets Prostitutes and Pimps—Plus increased sentences for gang crimes

John Rooke - Thinking Out Loud—JR's column on the sports stories and personalities…

 
 

NEW: ACLU Calls Civil Unions Bill “A Bust”

Monday, September 26, 2011

 

The Rhode Island ACLU issued a report today calling the state’s civil union bill “a bust.” The report, which highlights a “lackluster response” to the bill’s passage – a mere 14 gay or lesbian couples have applied for civil union status since the bill’s inception in June – calls for “passage of true marriage equality legislation.”

In comparison to 12 other states that have recently enacted marriage, civil union or domestic partnership legislation for gay and lesbian couples, Rhode Island’s initial rate of license issuance is dismal, according to the 22-page report. In Illinois, the only other state this year to also implement a civil union law, over 1,600 licenses were issued in the first month of their availability, compared to the nine licenses issued in that time period in Rhode Island. Even adjusted for population differences, the rate of license issuance in Illinois exceeded that of Rhode Island more than tenfold. This disparity is typical of data available from other states, the report shows.

The report cites three major reasons for the legislation’s failure in Rhode Island: the inclusion of an incredibly broad “religious” exemption that significantly undercuts the law’s purpose; the dashed expectation that, after twelve years of effort, a vote on a marriage bill would finally take place this year; and the prevalence of marriage states throughout New England, where “Rhode Islanders can travel a few hours in just about any direction and be in a state that, unlike their own, recognizes full marriage equality.”

Acknowledging that the General Assembly is unlikely to pass true marriage equality legislation in 2012, the report encourages two interim actions by the legislature next session. The first is to repeal the religious exemption, officially known as the Corvese amendment, that, according to Governor Lincoln Chafee “eviscerates the important rights that enacting a civil union law was meant to guarantee for same sex couples in the first place.” Second, the report urges the Assembly to pass legislation allowing same sex couples who live in Rhode Island and have been lawfully married elsewhere to get a divorce in Rhode Island, ending an “absurd situation where people live in a state that refuses to recognize their marriages, yet requires them to stay married even if they wish to divorce

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.




Commenting is not available in this channel entry.