Rhode Island

R.I. bishop: Same-sex marriage a ‘grave risk to our spiritual well being’

Bishop Thomas Tobin

Bishop Thomas Tobin

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin on Monday warned the Rhode Island state legislature that legalizing same-sex marriage would be a “grave risk to our spiritual well being and the common good.”

Bishop Thomas Tobin

Tobin, who again called same-sex marriage “immoral and unnecessary,” said in a statement that lawmakers have no right to “redefine what God himself has created.”

“As the Rhode Island Senate prepares to take action on legislation that would seek to legitimize ‘same-sex marriage,’ I once again urge members of the Senate to stand strong in resisting this immoral and unnecessary proposition and to defend marriage and family as traditionally defined.

“We should be very clear about this: it is only with grave risk to our spiritual well-being and the common good of our society that we dare to redefine what God himself has created. My prayer is that the senators will have all the wisdom and courage they need to do the right thing in this moment of decision.”

Tobin’s warning comes one day before the state Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider legislation allowing gay couples to marry. The session is scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Last month, Tobin advised lawmakers to hold off on acting on the bill while the U.S. Supreme Court considers the issue.

The House previously approved the marriage equality bill in January, but its fate in the Senate is uncertain.

Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, a Democrat, opposes the gay marriage bill, but said she intends to allow a full and unobstructed debate.

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