After several tries, the Ocean State will start recognizing same-sex marriages on August 1. Both houses of the legislature voted in favor of such recognition and the elected governor signed the bill into law.
And this legislation, like that in New Hampshire, addresses the concerns of those who contend such recognition would force churches (and other religious institutions) to perform weddings at odd with their faith’s doctrine. According to the Associated Press’s David Klepper:
The bill that passed the House stated that religious institutions may set their own rules regarding who is eligible to marry within the faith and specifies that no religious leader is obligated to officiate at any marriage ceremony. The Senate added language to ensure that groups like the Knights of Columbus aren’t legally obligated to provide facilities for same-sex weddings.
With such provisions, the Ocean State not only recognizes same-sex marriages, but also protects religious freedom.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Jayne contends that “union of 2 males or 2 females is, biologically, historically and culturally so vastly different from the union between a male and female that to define it with the same term renders the definition meaningless.”
I would agree that same-sex unions are different from different-sex ones merely because of the differences between men and women, but is she right, are they “vastly different”? (Emphasis added.)