So, there's good news and there's bad news...civil unions were just signed into law in Rhode Island, effective July 1, 2011. How can this possibly be bad? I mean, think of all those Newport gay weddings (and civil unions)!
Well, the only way the bill passed was if it included the right for religious institutions to not recognize a civil union. This basically legalizes discrimination by religious institutions. The law of course gives a church the right to say, "We won't perform a gay wedding here" (which is totally fine if they so choose). But it also allows religious institutions to deny other services to same-sex couples, such as adoptions, social services, funerals and so forth.
I have mixed feelings about this, as much as I would LOVE to help gay couples have a beautiful wedding in Newport (and other parts of Rhode Island). I don't mind some religious exceptions but these ones seem particularly extreme.
Are you going to plan a Rhode Island gay wedding or civil union now that it's legal?
(photo by Kristin Spencer)
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