As is always the case during debate on emotional social issues, the verbal parrying at the State House can drift into seriously ridiculous misinformation. Such is the case in Sunday’s gay marriage page one ProJo story by Phil Marcelo.
In this piece, Marcelo quotes Sen. Frank Ciccone III, D-Providence. Ciccone is a prominent opponent of same gender marriage; he has introduced legislation calling for a voter referendum on the issue.
In the article, Ciccone speaks of the concerns of some constituents who oppose gay marriage. He says gay marriage might force landlords to rent to gay tenants.
``What about families living in tenements? Will they be forced to rent to homosexual married people and be forced to expose their children to this lifestyle?’’ Ciccone is quoted as stating.
Well, senator, we hate to tell you this, but guess what: It is already against the law to discriminate against gay people in rental housing. It has been since the 1990s, when the Assembly approved and then-Gov. Lincoln Almond signed into law legislation that prohibits discrimination against gays in employment, the granting of credit, public accommodations and housing. Yes housing.
There is an exemption from the housing provision for owner-occupied housing of three units or less.
As far as forcing children to be exposed to a ``lifestyle’’ that would undermine traditional marriage, we take you to that bastion of respect for the sanctity of heterosexual marriage: the Rhode Island State House. As we know, the General Assembly, and especially male legislators, have over the years all been Christian soldiers in the battle to uphold their traditional vows of fidelity in marriage.
If you want the young to develop a healthy respect for traditional opposite gender marriage, how about passing legislation barring our youth from watching shows that feature drunken hookups, like Jersey Shore, or Bad Girls, or shows depicting the Kardashians?
Lucky for Rhode Islanders, we don’t have to watch any of those programs for hypocrisy or bizarre entertainment. We have the cable access to State House sessions.