Update: PPP to Poll Rhode Island Soon

Saturday I posted a call to vote in Public Policy Polling's poll asking which state they should conduct a poll in next. Despite trailing Maine going it, Rhode Island emerged the winner and will be next. Pollster Tom Jensen explains:

Rhode Island received the most votes from distinct individuals in our 'vote on where to poll' this week so that's where we'll go this time around along with North Carolina.

“Distinct individuals” makes it sound like Maine's lead was attributed to a single IP address (aka cheating).

Well done those of you who participated. Our work isn't done. Jensen asks:

What questions should we ask besides the races for President and Senate?

Go over there and tell him to poll “marriage equality.” The vote is near and a good result (which is likely) will do a lot to crowd National Organization's nonsense, lies and insanity out of the local paper's headlines, and place the lawmaker's focus on the “will of the people.”

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Politifact Rhode Island busts NOM’s lies about marriage

Alvin McEwen thinks this is HUGE. And, he’s right. NOM is fighting the marriage bill in Rhode Island this year with its usual lies and hate. But, this time, the group has been busted.

PolitiFact Rhode Island has examined the NOM claim, now being spread via direct mail in Rhode Island:

We chose to examine one of the claims: “Massachusetts’ public schools teach kids as young as kindergartners about gay marriage. Parents have no legal right to object!”

Alvin takes us through Politifact’s analysis:

PolitiFact then spoke with Jonathan Considine of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, and Thomas Gosnell, president of the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts.

All of these groups and individuals said that they were not aware of any school, classroom, or situation in which gay marriage is being taught to kindergartners.

Politifact concluded thusly:

Bottom line: The National Organization for Marriage mailing says that Massachusetts public schools teach kindergartners about gay marriage. The wording, including the present tense verb, gives the impression this is happening now, in many schools.

But the group’s only evidence is two incidents five years ago. It’s possible that somewhere, in one of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, other kindergartners have been taught about same-sex marriage. But NOM couldn’t cite any other examples. We find its statement False.

False indeed.

There’s a reason why Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown, the self-appointed leaders of the anti-gay, anti-marriage industry, didn’t testify in the Prop. 8 trial last summer. If they could stand by what they spew, they should have taken the stand in what was the most important case to date on marriage. But, they didn’t. That’s because, as David Boies said so eloquently last August, “a witness place is a lonely place to lie. And when you come into court you can’t do that.” It’s a crime.

So, people of Rhode Island, be advised: NOM is lying to you.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  David Taffet

Marriage Momentum in Rhode Island

The following is from Laura Kiritsy, Manager of Public Education at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders in New England:

The momentum for marriage equality was palpable at the Rhode Island State House yesterday!

A Rhode Island State Trooper policing the building’s entrance commented late in the evening that it was the biggest crowd he’d ever seen, and indeed supporters and opponents turned out en masse to weigh in on a marriage equality bill and competing legislation that would allow Rhode Islanders to vote on allowing same-sex couples access to civil marriage rights.

Arriving at the Capitol, I had to brave a half-hour of frigid temps waiting in a massive line of people three and four abreast that stretched from the State House down the length of the plaza to Smith Street, so I missed the big rally organized by our friends at Marriage Equality Rhode Island (MERI) and MassEquality. But the sight inside warmed my heart, as I was greeted by a throng of mostly marriage equality supporters holding colorful pro-equality signs (“Vote for Love!” “Love Thy Constituent,” “Grandparents for Marriage Equality”) aloft in the Rotunda, beneath a massive banner emblazoned with the words Gov. Lincoln Chafee spoke at his inauguration last month: “When marriage equality is the law in Rhode Island, we honor our forefathers who risked their lives and fortune in the pursuit of human equality.”

The marathon hearing before the House Judiciary Committee lasted from 5 p.m. until 1 a.m. GLAD Senior Staff Attorney Karen Loewy was in the packed hearing room until after midnight to deliver testimony – long after I had to hop the Amtrak home. Karen spoke poignantly and powerfully against putting the question of marriage rights for same-sex couples on the ballot, basing her testimony on what GLAD witnessed during Maine’s 2009 ballot initiative campaign. She shared how a lesbian couple from suburban Portland awoke the morning after being profiled in their local paper to find their front door, front stairs, driveway and mailbox smeared with human excrement. Though the police suspected a hate crime, the couple was too fearful to take any action on the crime.

“Unfortunately, this kind of incident was not unique,” Karen told the committee. “Nor was the impact on the gay and lesbian families of Maine solely physical. The campaign meant months of walking on egg shells, wondering if the person in front of them in the grocery store check out line was going to vote to maintain their status as second class citizens. For their children, it meant waking up the morning after the vote, and having their parents struggle to explain what this vote meant for their family. Imagine having to reassure your children that you will do everything in your power to keep your family safe and protected, knowing that a majority of people who came out to the ballot box deemed you unworthy to receive the same basic legal protections that every other family receives.”

There were plenty of high points from the testimony that I heard, but my favorite marriage equality supporters were a pair of middle-school teens — Noah Barreto, 13, and Samantha Rodriguez, age 14. Perhaps in response to opponents who believe that the only good parents are biological, heterosexual parents, Noah told the committee that he knows kids of gay parents, “and they’re just like the kids of straight parents.” Samantha spoke of the importance of creating an environment where all people would be accepted. “Being gay is not bad,” she said at one point. She wrapped up with, “All in all, I’m in support of marriage equality.” This is our future!

To be sure, there were low points supplied mainly by the anti-gay professionals. There was NOM’s sex-obsessed Maggie Gallagher: “Men and women have sex, they make babies.” Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council asserted that marriage equality would force Rhode Island taxpayers and businesses to “subsidize homosexual relationships and their higher health care costs.” The NOM-affiliated Ruth Institute’s Jennifer Roback Morse basically insisted that marriage equality would bring about the ruin of parenting as we know it, and, by the way, “the vast majority of African Americans completely reject same-sex marriage.”

“In my view, history will not be kind” to lawmakers who support marriage equality, Roback Morse told the committee. I think Noah and Samantha might disagree.

Rhode Islanders, send a message to your state legislators in support of marriage equality now and ask your friends, family members and colleagues to do the same.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  David Taffet

NOM in Rhode Island: ‘The battle that He began over evil and darkness’

More Catholic-steeped resistance to our civil equality from NOM’s Rhode Island wing:





(*headline quote comes in this clip, around 4:00):



***

*EARLIER: NOM’s Rhode Island head admitted he/they see gay lives as ‘tragic’. But that doesn’t poll well, so… [G-A-Y]

What next, NOM — gonna ask people to tithe rather than donate? [G-A-Y]

We the papal: Rhode Island ring finger edition [G-A-Y]




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NOM On Attack In Rhode Island

Here’s NOM’s first ad attacking Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s support of same-sex marriage.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

NOM is on the air against marriage bill in Rhode Island

NOM does seem to have an endless supply of money:

The local chapter of the National Organization for Marriage is launching a 0,000 TV advertising campaign aimed at defeating the legalization of same-sex marriage in Rhode Island.

The first TV ad scheduled for airing on Tuesday will challenge “Governor Lincoln Chaffee’s claim to have a mandate to redefine marriage,” according to a news release issued by the group that misspelled new Governor Lincoln D. Chafee’s name.

“Lincoln Chaffee got just 36% of the vote in the recent election, and fewer popular votes than the Cool Moose Party’s candidate for Lieutenant Governor,” Christopher Plante, executive director of NOM-RI, said in the release. “Our message is that getting 36% of the vote is no mandate to redefine the institution of marriage for all of Rhode Island society.”

Wow. That is one of their dumbest arguments to date. But, NOM hates the gays and will stop at nothing to thwart equality.

For NOM, this isn’t just about marriage, it’s about homophobia. They’re gay-bashers, plain and simple.




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Marriage Equality Bill to Be Introduced Today in Rhode Island

Hot on the heels of Governor Lincoln Chafee's call for marriage equality in the state, a bill will be re-introduced in the Rhode Island House to legalize same-sex marriage there, and they plan to move it quickly, the Providence Journal reports:

Handy In a brief interview on Wednesday, Rep. Arthur Handy (pictured), D-Cranston, said he had already lined up 27 co-sponsors and was hoping for more, but would introduce the bill no matter what the number on Thursday in hopes of spurring an early-session hearing and vote on the measure.

Besides Handy, the other lead sponsors include Representatives Frank Ferri, D-Warwick, Edith Ajello, D-Providence, Deborah Ruggiero, D-Jamestown, and the openly gay House Speaker Gordon D. Fox, D-Providence, who had said in the days leading up to the start of the 2011 General Assembly session that he hoped for a House vote on same-sex marriage early in the session, before the lawmakers get wrapped up in the budget and other issues.

“I would like it done earlier than later, only because later you get into budget issues and your focus sort of changes,” Fox said.

Ri The bill's language:

It says: “Any person who otherwise meets the eligibility requirements [in law] may marry any other eligible person regardless of gender.” It also says: “No person shall marry” a long list of relatives, including a parent, grandparent, sibling or child of a sibling, and makes clear that no religious institution would be required to perform a civil marriage if it conflicted with its teachings.

A Democrat, Rep. Jon Brien of Woonsocket, is already planning to counter the bill with legislation that would require a public referendum on the issue.

The bill's chances in the state senate are not yet clear at this point, but certainly better than when gay-hating Governor Donald Carcieri was in power, with a veto threat waiting.


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Nice, NOM Rhode Island did our grunt work! Don’t let it go to waste…

In their quest to stop basic, benign civil equality from coming to the Ocean State, the National Organization For Marriage’s Rhode Island chapter has actually done us all a great service. The anti-parity organization has rounded up all of the 2011 Senators who will be deciding whether or not to grant the decent and fair to the state’s same-sex couples, providing pertinent contact information for all 38.

Use it. Share it. Rock it:

(click for full size)

District Title RI001 Sen. RI002 Sen. RI003 Sen. RI004 Sen. RI005 Sen. RI006 Sen. RI007 Sen. RI008 Sen. RI009 Sen. RI010 Sen. RI011 Sen. RI012 Sen. RI013 Sen. RI014 Sen. RI015 Sen. RI016 Sen. RI017 Sen. RI018 Sen. RI019 Sen. RI020 Sen. RI021 Sen. RI022 Sen. RI023 Sen. RI024 Sen. RI025 Sen. RI026 Sen. RI027 Sen. RI028 Sen. RI029 Sen. RI030 Sen. RI031 Sen. RI032 Sen. RI033 Sen. RI034 Sen. RI035 Sen. RI036 Sen. RI037 Sen. RI038 Sen. First Maryellen Juan Rhoda Dominick Paul Harold Frank James Michael Walter Christopher Louis Teresa Daniel Donna Elizabeth Edward Frank Bethany Roger Nicholas John Paul Marc Frank Beatrice Hanna Joshua Michael William Erin David Glenford Francis Dawson James V. Susan Dennis Last Goodwin Pichardo Perry Ruggerio Jabour Metts Ciccone, III Doyle II Pinga Felag, Jr. Ottiano DiPalma Paiva-Weed Da Ponte Nesselbush Crowley O'Neill Devall Moura Picard Kettle Tassoni, Jr. Fogarty Cote Lombardo, III Lanzi Gallo Miller McCaffrey Walaska Lynch Bates Shibley Maher, Jr. Hodgson Sheehan Sosnowski Algiere Address1 325 Smith Street 229 Atlantic Avenue 27 Top Street 42 Countryside Drive 529 Broadway 31 Tanner Street 15 Mercy Street 8 Massasoit Avenue 42 Newell Street 51 Overhill Road 10 Kaitlin Place 24 Sail Court 48 Admiral Kalbfus Road 52 Vine Street 181 Raleigh Avenue 135 Perry Street 2 Lladnar Drive 27 Monmouth Drive 4 Rhode Island Avenue 764 Mendon Road 5 Autumn Ridge Road 33 B Waterview Drive 112 Saw Mill Road 144 Woodland Road 68 Rollingwood Drive 70 Scituate Farms Drive 285 Meshanticut Valley Pkwy. 41 Talbot Manor 115 Twin Oak Drive 140 Aldrich Avenue 28 Goodwin Street 65 Primrose Hill Road 31 Wesleyan Avenue 195 Glen Rock Road 761 Indian Corner Road 40 Blueberry Lane 680 Glen Rock Road 6 Elm Street City Providence Providence Providence North Providence Providence Providence Providence Pawtucket West Warwick Warren Portsmouth Middletown Newport East Providence Pawtucket Centrall Falls Lincoln East Providence Cumberland Woonsocket Coventry Smithfield Glocester Woonsocket Johnston Cranston Cranston Cranston Warwick Warwick Warwick Barrington Coventry Exeter North Kingstown North Kingstown South Kingstown Westerly Zip Telephone Email sen-Goodwin@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Pichardo@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Perry@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Ruggerio@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Jabour@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Metts@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Ciccone@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Doyle@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Pinga@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Felag@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Ottiano@rilin.state.ri.us sen-DiPalma@rilin.state.ri.us sen-PaivaWeed@rilin.state.ri.us sen-DaPonte@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Nesselbush@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Crowley@rilin.state.ri.us sen-ONeill@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Devall@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Moura@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Picard@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Kettle@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Tassoni@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Fogarty@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Cote@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Lombardo@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Lanzi@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Gallo@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Miller@rilin.state.ri.us sen-McCaffrey@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Walaska@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Lynch@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Bates@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Shibley@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Maher@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Hodgson@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Sheehan@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Sosnowski@rilin.state.ri.us sen-Algiere@rilin.state.ri.us 02908 02907 02906 02904 02909 02907 02909 02861 02893 02885 02871 02842 02840 02914 02860 02863 02865 02915 02864 02895 02816 02917 02814 02895 02919 02921 02920 02905 02889 02889 02818 02806 02816 02822 02877 02852 02892 02891 (401)272-3102 (401)461-2389 (401)751-7165 (401)353-1311 (401)751-3301 (401)272-0112 (401)275-0949 (401)729-9988 (401)615-5645 (401)245-7521 (401)682-2831 (401)847-8540 (401)846-9984 (401)864-4234 (401)728-3244 (401)725-8526 (401)728-3295 (401)433-4353 (401)996-3008 (401)769-4902 (401)397-7638 (401)233-2602 (401)949-0895 (401)765-3360 (401)270-1379 (401)946-7125 (401)942-8566 (401)461-8689 (401)739-7576 (401)737-1065 (401)741-5458 (401)246-1379 (401)826-1611 401-222-2708 (401)363-2400 (401)885-1988 (401)783-7704 (401)596-2215




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Rhode Island Governor-Elect Chafee Snubs NOM, Reiterates His Commitment to Marriage Equality

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.

Chafee The Providence Journal reports that Christopher Plante, the head of NOM's Rhode Island chapter, paid a visit to Chafee's office:

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.”

Plante is clearly exasperated. The ProJo asked him why he thought Chafee would change his mind.

"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.

And why hasn't NOM been classified as a hate group already?


Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

NOM in Rhode Island: Don’t waste time on marriage — that’s our job

Screen Shot 2010-11-19 At 1.00.46 PmNOM 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:



*AUDIO SOURCE: NOM’s Chris Plante on Rhode Island radio [NOM]




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