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Hispanic rally overwhelms Rhode Island State House at "gay marriage" hearing, followed by 12-hours of testimony. Committee vote pending.
POSTED: March 28, 2013
Last Thursday's public hearing was effectively ground zero for "gay marriage" in Rhode Island. The hearing started early Thursday evening and lasted over 12 hours, until the following morning. Both sides were there in force.
But the biggest impression in the State House that night was definitely made by the pro-family forces. The huge demonstration by the Hispanic community completely overwhelmed the homosexual activists who thought they would be dominating that day! It was an incredible sight.
As reported last week, if the "gay marriage" bill gets through the Senate Judiciary Committee, it will most likely become law. It has already passed the House, and the full Senate would likely pass it. But it's unclear whether a majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee supports the gay marriage bill, which is why this was such a crucial hearing for both sides.
Also before the committee is a rather odd constitutional amendment that was just recently filed days before the hearing. It would write "gay marriage" into the Rhode Island Constitution, with some supposed "protections." But the amendment has a long path ahead of it, including a popular vote, and faces a fair amount of opposition. The "gay marriage" bill is what's on everyone's mind right now.
Incredible outpouring by pro-family Hispanic community
Even before the hearing began, both sides gathered in the main rotunda of the State House to demonstrate. A group of homosexual activists gathered in the middle to hold signs, chant, yell, sing their 60's "civil rights" songs, and basically intimidate people. It's their usual shtick which we seem to see everywhere.
But this time they were completely surrounded by hundreds of passionate pro-family people organized by the Hispanic Ministers Association of Rhode Island and the Faith Alliance of Rhode Island coalition, who gathered in that same area.
The pro-family Hispanics were not about to be intimidated. Their whole belief system was on the line. They basically took over the State House with their pro-religion, pro-traditional marriage message. Frankly, we've never seen anything like it. Even our video (below) hardly does it justice.
The homosexual activists in the middle area started things off, waving their signs, chanting, and singing and clearly thinking that the growing pro-family crowd of men, women, and children around them would politely cower and back off. But the pro-family crowd, by now spilling over into the hallways and up on the second and third floors looking down, answered with a rousing chorus of "Amazing Grace." That was followed by more singing and chanting, and it got louder and louder!
Nobody in the Rhode Island State House had any doubts that our side meant business! Before long, the homosexual activists pretty much gave up.
The hearing begins
As the rally was heating up in the State House atrium, up on the third floor the hearing began -- the start of a 12-hour marathon.
The Rhode Island Legislature conducts its public hearings better than many other states. (MassResistance has testified there several times over the last few years.) They hold them in the evenings when it's convenient for people to come. Everyone is limited to approximately three minutes, including "important" people. They are pretty good about sticking to the order of the signup sheets, and they try to be fair about alternating between pro and con testifiers, which they call up in groups of three or four. The committee members try to be respectful to the testifiers, and often all the members actually show up and sit through all of it. Anyone who's testified in a state like Massachusetts could tell you that often none of that happens here!
In addition, the hearing room is quite small. So they had set up three overflow rooms with a large-screen TVs. The State House broadcasts its public hearings live over cable-TV throughout Rhode Island.
The homosexual lobby was very well organized. They had staff members with clipboards throughout the State House to sign up people. Our side had nothing like that, but the local National Organization for Marriage (NOM) people had helped bring in quality testifiers (such as college professors and various expert witnesses). And there were a lot of other good people on our side who came on their own.
Pro- and anti-family testimony, and more
From our observation, the quality and variety of the pro-family testimony was far superior to that of the pro-homosexual activists.
David Parker came and gave a powerful description about the effects of "gay marriage" on the schools in Massachusetts. He told them about the how his Kindergarten son was taught about homosexual romantic relationships, without parents' knowledge or consent, and how a Federal Judge acknowledged that "gay marriage" in Massachusetts gave schools an obligation to do that.
VIDEO: David Parker's testimony. NOTE: David also references the "civil unions" law that Rhode Island alread passed last year.
She brought out politically incorrect scientific findings and didn't hold back:
"Some people claim that it makes no difference whether a child is raised by her mother and father or raised by a adults engaged in a homosexual lifestyle. Some go even further and say that two lesbians make better parents than a single mom or a mother and a father together. Any scholarly basis for such claims has been shattered by the latest and best social science research . . ."
She noted that children with lesbian or "gay" parents fared worse on many measured outcomes, and in no category did they do better.
And in addition, Brian Camenker of MassResistance testified about the chilling contents of our booklet, "What same-sex 'marriage' has done to Massachusetts." He also gave a copy to each member of the Committee.
The homosexual lobby trotted out their same old tired routines. There were the teachers, union activists, parents, pagan church people, and activists, mostly with emotional diatribes about "loving families," civil rights, "fairness," "equality" etc. After a while it all seemed to run together.
And of course, the homosexual lobby's PR machine was humming along. At one point some reporters and TV cameramen came into the hearing room. Shortly afterwards, a group of pro-gay testifiers was called up, which included a 12-year-old boy. The boy read an emotional tribute to his "two moms" and urged the committee to do the right thing and pass the bill. The next day, the boy and his testimony were miraculously in the news all over New England and beyond.
It was a long night.
Committee could vote within days
Rhode Island legislative committees often take a vote immediately after a hearing ends. For this hearing - for these two bills - they decided beforehand to vote at a later time.
When will they take their vote? As the Providence Journal said last Friday:
Chairman Michael McCaffrey said this week that members will "digest the testimony" and then he will "sit down with the Senate president and the majority leader and we'll see when they want to schedule the bills for a vote."
But the information we're now getting is that a vote could take place early next week, probably on Tuesday. Right now it looks very close. The 10-member Committee needs majority for either of these bills (not a tie) to move them forward. Otherwise, the bills die for this session.
Groups continuing to pound committee until vote
Of course, the pressure hasn't ended. The day after the hearing, the homosexual lobby group "Rhode Islanders for Marriage Equality" set up a phone bank to call the members of the Committee with a flood of calls.
Pro-family activists and church leaders stepped up with their own lobbying efforts. National Organization for Marriage is coordinating statewide efforts, along with the Rhode Island Ministers Alliance. That committee will definitely hear from our side in a big way.
We'll let you know what happens!