Pro-family activism that makes a difference!

Battle over same-sex "marriage" in Rhode Island Legislature begins today with public hearing.

Pro-family rally & press conference by religious coalition, with MassResistance.

POSTED: January 15, 2013

The battle over same-sex "marriage" in the Rhode Island Legislature begins today.

Starting today (Tuesday) -- and over the next several weeks -- the same-sex "marriage" issue in the Rhode Island legislature will be boiling over. The state's major political leaders have vowed to push a "gay marriage" bill through the legislature as quickly as possible. The pro-family religious community, including the black and Hispanic churches, has vowed to stop it. Brian Camenker of MassResistance has been in Rhode Island this past week working with activists and clergy.

Almost immediately after the Nov. 6 election the homosexual newspapers were celebrating their "wins" in Rhode Island and announcing there would be an immediate "gay marriage" push in the Legislature there.

It begins with a State House public hearing tonight before the Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee. This afternoon there will be a major press conference by a statewide coalition of pro-family clergy, and also a pro-family State House rally. Camenker from MassResistance will be participating in both, as well as testifying before the House Judiciary Committee.

Press Release of Faith Alliance press conference - statewide pro-family religious coalition to fight "gay marriage" bill

List of speakers for Faith Alliance press conference

Two years ago the Rhode Island legislature attempted to pass a similar "gay marriage" bill. But after huge pressure from the religious community, including a big State House rally by the Hispanic churches during the public hearings, the legislature backed off and passed a "civil unions" bill instead. (We testified at those hearings, also.) But like everywhere else (as in Illinois now) the homosexual movement was never satisfied with civil unions and began immediately working to push "gay marriage."

Within days after the November 6 election, the homosexual movement announced that Rhode Island would be the next target in New England for a same-sex "marriage" push in their Legislature. They claimed that that they had elected enough pro-homosexual State Reps and Senators to make the passage of "gay marriage" much easier than before. House Speaker Gordon Fox, who is openly homosexual, announced that he would be leading the charge to see that "gay marriage" gets passed there.

Timeline: Things started moving fast

As soon as the new session began on Jan. 1, things began happening. They are certainly serious about getting this done very quickly.

  • Jan. 3 - "Gay marriage" bill introduced. Two days after the new legislative session began, identical same-sex "marriage" bills were introduced in the House and Senate. You can read the House version here. The bill's supporters also issued a State House press release listing 42 of 75 House members and 11 of 38 Senate members as co-sponsors.
  • Jan. 7 - Catholic Bishop responds with bold statement condemning "gay marriage." The following Monday morning, Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence published a bold statement against the bill. The Bishop doesn't mince words:

    [H]omosexual marriage enshrines into civil law immoral activity. The natural law, the Holy Scriptures, and long-standing religious tradition are very consistent in affirming that homosexual activity is sinful, contrary to God's plan. It should never be encouraged, ratified or "blessed" by the state.

    Read Bishop Tobin's entire statement here.

  • Jan. 7 - Pro-gay clergy coalition issues statement supporting bill. Also on Monday, January 7, a coalition of 100 pro-homosexual Rhode Island clergy responded to the Bishop's statement with a statement supporting same-sex "marriage."
  • Jan. 7 - Key pro-family church leaders and activists meet. On the evening of Monday, January 7, a group of Protestant, Evangelical, and Catholic clergy and activists met in a church to talk about lobbying the legislature to stop "gay marriage" in the State House. Chris Plante of National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and Brian Camenker of MassResistance addressed the group, along with others, including a key pro-gamily State Senator.

    Chris Plante of National Organization for Marriage (left) and Brian Camenker of MassResistance address meeting of Rhode Island clergy and activists on January 7.

  • Jan. 9 - Hispanic Ministers Alliance, black churches hold major strategy session. On Wednesday, January 9, the Hispanic Ministers Alliance, the largest Hispanic clergy group in Rhode Island, along with representatives from key African-American congregations, met in in a church in Providence to work out strategies to organize state-wide and mobilize people. The invited speakers were Ron L'Heureaux of Exodus 18 and Brian Camenker of MassResistance. Copies of our booklet, What same-sex 'marriage' has done to Massachusetts were passed out at the meeting, which the Ministers Alliance has translated into Spanish.

    Rhode Island Hispanic and African-American pastors meet on Januray 9 to organize. (Brian Camenker of MassResistance is fourth from right.)

  • Jan. 10 - Governor says no to public vote on marriage. On Thursday, January 10, RI Governor Lincoln Chafee said that he would most likely veto a bill being proposed by a State Senator that would make the "gay marriage" issue a referendum to be voted by the people instead of a bill before the legislature. Chafee, a strong supporter of "gay marriage," said that he believed it should be decided by the legislature, not the people. See newspaper coverage here.

  • Jan. 10 - Greek Orthodox priests issue statement against bill. Also on Thursday, January 10, eighteen key Greek Orthodox Christian priests, representing the Rhode Island Orthodox Clergy Fellowship, issued a statement supporting traditional marriage.

  • Jan. 11 - State House public hearing set for Tuesday, Jan. 15. On Friday, Jan. 11, Speaker Gordon Fox announced that the House Judiciary Committee would hold a hearing on "gay marriage" on Tuesday Jan. 15. He added that he expected a full vote by the end of the month.

    Competing coalitions . . .

  • Jan. 13 - Faith Alliance formed -- Statewide multi-denominational coalition to stop "gay marriage." Sunday, Jan. 13, the Faith Alliance to Preserve the Sanctity of Marriage as Established by God, formed to stop the "gay marriage" in Rhode Island posted its website. The group announced a press conference and rally to be held at the State House on Tuesday afternoon Jan. 15 before the public hearing in the State House that evening. The Faith Alliance was formed from the Jan. 9 meeting of Hispanic Ministers Alliance and now includes over 100 churches and religious organizations from across the state.

    Website of newly formed statewide religious alliance to stop "gay marriage" in Rhode Island.

  • Jan. 14 - Governor holds press conference announcing big pro-"gay marriage" coalition. On Monday, Jan. 14, RI Governor Lincoln Chafee held a press conference announcing a broad coalition to "legalize gay marriage" in Rhode Island this year. With him were Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, General Treasurer Gina Raimondo, a number of liberal clergy, and officials from the state AFL-CIO. One of the clergy referred to gay marriage as "part of God's plan". See the newspaper report here with photos and video.

Tuesday Jan. 15: Press Conference, Rally, & State House Public Hearing

Rhode Island is a fairly liberal state dominated by the Democratic Party in the legislature. But from what we've seen there, the homosexual lobby is (again) underestimating the energy and passion of the Hispanic, African-American, Evangelical, and Catholic, and Orthodox churches on this issue. They beat back "gay marriage" two years ago, and we believe they can do it again. Bishop Tobin is a very strong pro-family leader in the Catholic Church, and the other religious leaders are equally powerful and determined - and very well organized. It's no coincidence that Rhode Island is the only "gay marriage" holdout in New England. This will be a fight!

We will provide a full report next week.

Our booklet exposing the effects of same-sex "marriage" has now been translated into Spanish by the Rhode Island Hispanic Ministerial Alliance.