Seems that Governor Baldacci (Ah, another Italo-American!) signed the marriage equality bill into law today.
How can I make this more clear. The Rhode Island legislature is embarrassing to say the least. They’ll squander time doing solemnization votes, and things of that nature but the leadership will NOT allow marriage equality to come to a full vote.
On the representative side we have Speaker Murphy doing his absolute best to quash this legislation at every opportunity. On the other side we have Senate President Paiva-Weed who in the past has been supportive of LGBT issues suddenly having a change of heart and opposing marriage equality.
I think it is high time for serious agitation. If our legislative leadership won’t listen to reason and logic, then we need to embarrass them for their submission to religious leaders. It would be a relatively simple matter, just pull the lobbyist records for the Roman Catholic Diocese. Why else would the Diocese be paying the Rev. Healey $1,001 per month unless they were actively lobbying against marriage equality, or maybe wining and dining legislators?
What I find very interesting is that since the entrance of the National Organization for Marriage in Rhode Island, we’ve seen no lobby activity reports for the Diocese of Providence. I see no lobbyist registration for NOM in the database either. Note also that NOM is thus far refusing to show their IRS form 990. The 990 details major program funding, as well as the complete board of directors etc. What does NOM have to hide?
Here is a thought, maybe it would be fun to hire a PI to follow our esteemed legislative leadership and see what we can dig up. I know I can’t afford this myself but I’m sure we could get a big enough pool of money together if we really wanted to do this, and find out just what goes on. Because we’re moving from the point of frustration to action here.
As I said at last evenings MERI (Marriage Equality Rhode Island) sessions at the Bell St. Chapel, never be afraid to contact your legislators since they were elected and not appointed. They’re people just like the rest of us, and I bet there are more than a few skeletons in the closets of the legislative leadership. With any luck our findings might stimulate the U.S. Attorney to indict them. That’s one sure fire way to change the leadership in Rhode Island.