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A conversation with GLAD March 5, 2009

Posted by truthspew in Gay rights, marriage equality, politics.
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My cousin Tom and I had a very nice conversation with an attorney from GLAD today. Both of us now have a better understanding of the main obstacles to marriage equality in RI.

Now that we’ve had the conversation let me offer that I was astounded that the Rhode Island Supreme Court has only heard 3 gay oriented cases over the past decade or so. One was a custody case, another a palimony case. Of the justices that rules in favor of those two only one is still on the court.

The last of course is Ormiston v. Chambers.

Imagine my surprise learning that our courts are politically sensitive. I’d always thought that appointing justices for life would strike a measure of independence from the political. But that was just my over-simplified engineers view of things.

What shocks me even more is that no cases have been brought regarding denial of marriage licenses even though people have tried obtaining licenses in various municipalities.

It appears that our best weapon is time. In a bit over a year and a half it is more likely than not we’ll have a sitting Democrat as Governor, in a bit longer than that we may have new leadership in the House, and the Rhode Island Supreme Court can change too.

I’ll still agitate against religious interference, that’s something that needs to be done. And I’ll still agitate for people to contact their legislators and educate them on the issues we face.

Legal, political and educational. I think we have the legal grounds but we must overcome the political and educational biases.

Upon further reflection I do have a suggestion regarding educating Supreme Court Justices. We should start a letter writing campaign to all the justices. Tell them our stories. In essence, humanize ourselves.

Maybe then RI will have marriage equality. But RI moves slowly on everything, from Article 1 Section 2 being added in 1986, to our ENDA laws being enacted 10 years later.

But marriage equality is critical. Make no mistake about that. More critical is divorce equality. I encourage our senators to move to a vote on S0271.

I’m in this for the long haul.

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