With Rhode Island being the last state in New England to not legalize same-sex marriage, or recognize any same-sex union for that matter, the anti-marriage equality National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has set its eyes on keeping it that way.
This past weekend, NOM held a "traditional marriage" picnic in Warwick, RI, officially titled "First Annual Celebrate Marriage and Family Day," the same event that large chain Tim Horton's backed out of sponsoring last week after it learned what NOM was all about. About 20 to 30 marriage equality protesters stood at the front gates of the Aldrich Mansion, a Catholic Diocese property, with signs that read, "Please, don't define my marriage" among others.
NOM president Maggie Gallagher appeared at the event and gave the following speech.
For the past twelve years, marriage equality bills have been introduced and killed in Rhode Island. This past June, a bid to give same-sex partners the right to make funeral arrangements for their loved ones also died.
However, in May, a Brown University poll showed 60% of Rhode Island voters support a law allowing same-sex couples to marry, with 75% supporting civil unions. Only 31% flatly stated they would oppose a marriage equality law.
With Governor Carcieri being a member of NOM (though he did not attend the picnic) and the state legislature not wanting to reflect the desires of its constituents but more rather the powerful Rhode Island Catholic Church, both marriage equality supports and opponents don't see marriage equality making it to the state any time soon.
ACTION: Go to Marriage Equality Rhode Island to see how you can get involved with their efforts to bring marriage equality to the state.