Supreme Court

RIPR file photo

Gay rights groups in Rhode Island say the pending Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage could have local impact. The court is considering a landmark case that may determine whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.

Rhode Island already recognizes same-sex marriage, but Sandra Richards, president of the local chapter of the LGBTQ support group known as PFLAG, says she is still looking for the high court to weigh in.

"There are a lot of implications to marriage equality that affect the daily lives of everyone, even just traveling," Richards said.

The US Supreme Court made two high-profile decisions this week, and civil liberties again made for a hotly debate subject at the General Assembly this year. The head of the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, Steve Brown, stopped by our studios to discuss those and other issues.

While the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity is blasting the RI Labor Relations Board decision to move ahead with a vote on unionizing state-subsidized child care workers, it is difficult to question the labor panel’s reasoning.

Some history here:  Mike Stenhouse, ceo of the conservative Freedom & Prosperity group, asked the labor board to delay a vote until the U.S. Supreme Court decides a challenge to a somewhat similar union quest   in Illinois.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan offered rare behind-the-court insights Tuesday at a forum celebrating the 350th anniversary of the Rhode Island royal charter.

It’s hard to manage getting by these days without using email, but the Supreme Court of the United States does just fine without it, said Justice Elena Kagan. Speaking to about 500 people at Trinity Repertory Theatre, Kagan said they type everything on paper and have couriers deliver it.

It’s unclear how exactly Wednesday's Supreme Court decision on DOMA will affect health care coverage for same-sex spouses. But Rhode Island’s largest health insurer has already been extending such benefits.

As an employer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island has been offering health coverage to its employees’ same-sex spouses since 2010, said Blue cross compliance officer Martha Holt Castle.

Pages