gay marriage

Providence Diocese

One of the most interesting aspects of how the historic visit of Pope Francis resonates in Rhode Island is how Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence reacts to the message of His Holiness.

Rhode Island’s bishop has carved a reputation as a staunch and outspoken defender of conservative, traditional teachings. Tobin has often been vitriolic and rough in his criticism of liberal positions on such social and cultural issues as abortion and same-sex marriage.

Providence Dioceses

Update: In an interview with Rhode Island Public Radio, RI state Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport, said she does not support Bishop Thomas Tobin's call to resists the U.S. Supreme Court gay marriage decision. Paiva Weed is a practicing Catholic and was an opponent of the 2013 measure that legalized same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. But in a taping for RIPR's political roundtable that will air tomorrow morning, the Senate president said the U.S. Constitution must be obeyed.

Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin, who led a high-profile, albeit failed, campaign to defeat same-sex marriage legislation in Rhode Island in 2013, today blasted the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

In a statement, the Rev. Tobin said, ``a thousand courts may rule otherwise but the very notion of ``same sex marriage’’ is morally wrong and a blatant rejection of God’s plan for the human family.’’

If anyone still cares about the Holiday/Christmas tree Statehouse kerfuffle, Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced today that this year’s rotunda evergreen will be called a`` Christmas tree’’ and that Secretary of State Ralph Mollis will light it on Wednesday, December 3 at 6 p.m.

The 15-foor Fraser Fir evergreen was donated to the state by Sarah Partyka of the Farmer’s Daughter farm in South Kingstown.

``I am happy to be part of such a wonderful holiday tradition, lighting the State House Christmas tree,’’ said Mollis in a statement.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Same-sex couples are saying “I Do” and applying for marriage licenses across the state. Rhode Island and Minnesota are the 12th and 13th states in the country legalizing gay marriage.

Just minutes after the city clerk’s office opened, employees welcomed Cranston’s first same-sex couple seeking a license. “We opened at 8:30 so you’re our first customer,” said Cranston City Clerk Maria Wall. At 8:32 Karl Staatz and Royce Kilbourn walked into the clerk’s office with hands full of paperwork ready to get a marriage license. After 21 years together, they’re tying the knot next week.

When Gov. Lincoln Chafee and gay marriage advocates two years ago touted its economic benefits for Rhode Island they were widely disparaged. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains why Chafee and his allies may well be right.