It was refreshing to read this article at the Rhode Island Public Radio web site this evening: Algiere, Bates join RI Senate GOP bloc in backing bill favored by same-sex marriage supporters. This marks the first time that a partisan state legislative caucus has expressed unanimous backing for a bill in support of same-sex marriage.
Marriage equality is right, and it is just. Denying the ability of two consenting adults to marry has no rational basis. There are religious arguments against it, but as religious rule has no binding on laws within our country, those apply solely to those members of religious groups who choose to follow them.
Here is a portion of the statement released by the GOP caucus on the morning of 23 April 2013:
Our Senate Republican Caucus is deeply committed to the values of freedom, liberty and limited government. In accordance with those values, we believe that freedom means freedom for everyone, and that every citizen of Rhode Island deserves the freedom to marry the person they love.
We support Senate Bill 38 because it rightfully extends the civil aspects of marriage to all Rhode Islanders while protecting the freedom of religion our state was founded upon. Gay and lesbian couples deserve to be treated equally under the law, and at the same time churches, synagogues and mosques in our state must be free to exercise their faith and their sacraments as they see fit. This bill strikes the right balance and should be passed by the Senate.
The mention of religious institutions being able to “exercise their faith and their sacraments as they see fit” should allay some of the irrational fears expressed by some of those who oppose same-sex marriage. Some people, though, will never be convinced by facts.
Many people seem to be convinced that our country should be governed by laws based on their particular interpretation of their holy book. They state (without any justification) that the United States is a “Christian nation.” To them, anything they see as “sin” should be against the law. They are wrong, and they will be on the wrong side of history when the next century’s textbooks are written.