The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is whining because Rhode Island Governor-elect Lincoln Chafee won't entertain supporting a 2012 voter referendum on same-sex marriage and has reiterated his commitment to equality.
Plante said he dropped by Chafee’s transition office unannounced about two weeks ago, and came away from his conversation with aide Michael Trainor believing that the governor-elect was open to sitting down and talking with people on all sides of the gay-marriage debate.
Hence his “surprise” when he received a letter from Trainor, reaffirming the position that Chafee stated repeatedly through his campaign for governor over the last year. It said: “The governor elect feels that the issue should be addressed as soon as possible by the General Assembly, and does not believe that the question should be decided by a ballot referendum.”
In his Nov. 16 letter to Plante, Trainor also reiterated Chafee’s belief that: “Marriage equality is a basic right that should be extended to all Rhode Islanders — a question not only of fairness and justice, but of economic development as well.”
“I was surprised,” said Plante on Tuesday, “because Mr. Trainor indicated that he thought that Governor-elect Chafee would sit down at the table with all parties … I left there thinking that maybe we’ll get a roundtable. We’ll get ‘Marriage Equality’ … We’ll get NOMRI to sit at the table and talk about how we are going to go forward on this … But what he has done is rejected our position out of hand.”
"What insanity got into my mind? That I have real and credible polling data that shows that 80 percent of Rhode Islanders want it on the ballot … And he was elected with — what? — 36 percent of the vote, fewer popular votes than (unsuccessful independent lieutenant governor candidate) Bob Healey got."
No doubt NOM will soon be pouring more millions of dollars toward the Rhode Island referendum.
NOM Rhode Island’s Christopher Plante is the latest social conservative to both admit and gloat over the notion that anti-equality activists were able to turn one state’s judicial retention vote into a de facto marriage vote:
The fact that the people of Iowa, when allowed to vote, threw out three of the judges that had overreached their authority by mandating homosexual-marriage on all Iowans, is of great encouragement. Every time the people get to vote on the issue they choose to protect marriage between one man and one woman. [SOURCE]
It may never stop shocking this writer. I at least thought the “pro-marriage” Iowa court watchers would fake it, pulling out one or two other opinions from the three judges’ careers as straw man reasons why they were pushing a “no” retention vote. But no. These folks, largely from other states, are full-out admitting that they saw this as an attempt to stick it to the gays. Proud of it, even.
But that’s all been said and done several times over. If people want to care about the future of our courts, then they’ll have to choose to care. Care more deeply than (or at least as deeply as) the hyper-motivated crowd that’s been strategically denigrating the courts (and the judiciary’s role in general) for several years now. Perhaps when “Dancing With The Stars” ends.
For now, this is the Chris Plante outlook that we really wanna address:
The National Organization for Marriage – Rhode Island will make every effort to insure that Governor-elect Chafee and the new Assembly hear and follow the voice of the people.
This is particularly crucial given the economic morass that Rhode Island still faces; this is no time to bog down our State government with an issue that impacts less than 5 percent of the population.
Governor-elect Chafee and the new Assembly must not bog down the State government with the divisive and grid-locking issue of homosexual-marriage. [SOURCE]
There’s more at the link. But basically, on one hand, Mr. Plante is saying that his state is in a messy situation that needs focus, determination, responsible government, and heightened time management skills. Yet on the other hand, he’s asking the legislature to stop what the work they are doing, write up, debate, and pass an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment, then send it out to the voters where it will surely become a hugely divisive, highly costly, uber-contentious ballot war. How, exactly, does he square that away?! Because even through the disingenuous “pro-family” lens to which we’ve grown accustomed, reconciling those two positions seems like a stretch for any think person.
And then there’s the other level: That marriage equality, in a perfect world, would not come anywhere logically close to the realm of controversy. But of course we cannot live in such a world, because people like Plante and his fellow NOMmers refuse to put aside their personal theology for five seconds and concede that their LGBT neighbors deserve the same equal protection as their heterosexual peers. This whole matter is only divisive because they wish to divide gays from their government. It’s only grid-locking because they prevent the keys of reasoned, principled, church-separated, constitutionally-sound law from opening the doors of progress! It’s only even considered for a public vote because NOM and crew see “the people” as a majority block that only theoretically includes LGBT people, and see majority oppression as a tried-and-failed civil rights concept that, for some reason, holds special moral merit at this particular time.
Society will move on when these self-appointed grid-lockers do the same. Whether by choice or by lack of other options, their thrown-in towel is the only acceptable end to this (non-)issue.
*Note: This is the same guy who recently likened gay parents to dead parents. A “tragic situation,” he said:
Lincoln Chafee, who was the only GOP Senator to ever express support for marriage equality, has won the gubernatorial race in Rhode Island as an Independent. Democrat Frank Caprio had been leading up until two weeks ago, but lost ground after telling President Obama to “shove it” when he didn’t get Obama’s endorsement. Both Chafee and Caprio had promised to sign a marriage equality bill should one get to their desks.
"Fire Island Ferries will suspend service from Bay Shore at 3 p.m. tomorrow. It said ferries would resume early on Saturday, Sept. 4, once conditions improve. The Sayville Ferry Company told the News the 7 and 8 p.m. ferries to the Fire Island Pines tomorrow night are cancelled. Ferries to Cherry Grove remain unaffected as of this posting."