Catholic Diocese urges Rhode Island lawmakers to reject civil unions bill


After working to defeat a marriage equality bill, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence has also urged Rhode Island lawmakers to reject the compromise of a civil unions bill.

In an editorial appearing in the Rhode Island Catholic, the church said efforts to aimed at “appeasing homosexual activists” by legalizing civil unions is ultimately a “stepping stone to the legal recognition of same-sex relationships as marriage.”

“Government sanctioned civil unions cannot be supported by those who truly understand the unique nature and status afforded a man and a woman in marriage. We call upon the members of the Rhode Island House and Senate to cast aside such compromises and rather work to strengthen marriage in our state by passing a Defense of Marriage Bill that clearly defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

“Only then will the attempts by radical activists to redefine marriage and undermine family life in Rhode Island finally be stopped. Civil Unions are not the answer,” the editorial said.

Earlier this week, openly gay House Speaker Gordon Fox (D-Providence), a leading supporter of the gay marriage bill, said there was lack of support in the state Senate to pass the marriage equality bill during this legislative session, and that he would instead support a civil unions bill.

A House spokesman said Thursday that lawmakers are reviewing civil union laws in other states to help them craft the proposal, which could be introduced as early as Tuesday.

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