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Don’t let Rhode Island legalize discrimination

June 28, 2011

They’ve ignored the will of a majority of Rhode Islanders who support marriage equality, and now they’re on the verge of passing a civil union bill that could have a devastating impact on thousands of same-sex couples in loving, committed relationships. It’s time to take action.

What may have started as a civil union bill with noble intentions, has been irreparably corrupted to include language that intentionally allows private and religiously affliated organizations to discriminate against same sex couples. But these aren’t just any organizations, they’re hospitals, schools and other institutions that receive public funding. The Corvese Amendment goes too far. As a result, no matter what you think about civil unions, this bill is not for you.

Don’t let anyone tell you that this is about exempting or protecting faith based institutions, no government should ever tell any religion what rites or ceremonies it must convey or condone. But at the same time, no religious group should ever be granted the autonomous authority to operate outside the boundaries of the law. They certainly shouldn’t be given a license to discriminate, and that’s what this bill does.

Now, in the final days of the its session, the General Assembly is hoping that you’ve stopped paying attention. Let’s prove them wrong. Call your state senator this week. Tell them you want the Corvese Amendment removed from the civil union bill.

And Governor Chafee needs to hear from you as well. Soon, he’ll have a major role to play in determining whether this legislation becomes law. He needs to hear from you, right now. Make sure his office knows that you don’t support any bill that contains the dangerous Corvese Amendment.

It’s up to all of us to keep fighting. Don’t let the Smith Hill politicians get away with passing a bad bill that will set us back more than it will move us forward.

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