On Tuesday, State Representative Robert Craven (Democrat, District 32, North Kingstown) rose to recommend passage of Senate Bill 0075, a routine solemnization of marriage bill that would allow Daniel Baker to act as the officiant in the marriage of Christy Caroline Baker and Amber Lynn Stewart.

Craven noted that the bill had passed out of his the House Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, on a vote of 11-0. “It’s a good bill. I recommend passage,” said Craven.

Many representatives rose in support of the bill. Most did not. 66 Representatives voted in favor of the legislation. Four Representatives, Samuel Azzinaro (Democrat, District 37, Westerly), Arthur Corvese (Democrat, District 55, North Providence), Robert Phillips (Democrat, District 51, Woonsocket) and Sherry Roberts (Republican, District 29, Coventry) voted against the bill…

… because two women wanted to be married in Rhode Island.

Here’s the video:

Since the passage of marriage equality in Rhode Island, certain State Representatives and Senators in the General Assembly have continued to express their bigotry and homophobia by voting against same-sex marriages in both committees and during floor votes. Over the last four years I’ve covered this practice at least six times, yet the practice continues unabated.

During a hearing in House Judiciary earlier this year to possibly reform this practice, Ange Storm-Weber testified that that she would not seek a solemnization of marriage from the General Assembly. “One reason is that the current practice of separating the gay solemnizations from the straight ones is degrading, and like any bride in the world I just want my wedding to be perfect, not separate but equal, because separate is never really equal.”

Storm-Weber will be marrying her fiancé, a woman, later this year.

Here’s previous coverage of the issue:


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Debra Dziekiewicz
Guest
Debra Dziekiewicz

Great idea!

Grace Osediacz
Guest
Grace Osediacz

Outrageous. Are we living in the dark ages?

Kristen Chambers
Guest
Kristen Chambers

Thank you, Greg. This seems like something that needs to be changed and should not be such a big deal.

barry
Member

Arthur Corvese who voted against the bill has long been an opponent of legal rights for LGBTQ people and he also led the assault against reproductive freedom. He hasn’t had an opponent in any recent election. But North Providence is not really that backwards. The civil rights community should try to find and help a pro-freedom candidate to run in that district.

CCinRI
Guest
CCinRI

Once you’ve bought a marriage license from the state, it should be none of the states’ business who performs the rites at your wedding, it reeks of being a violation of the separation of church and state.

greg gerritt
Guest
greg gerritt

Answering Kristen, the solemnization bills are so that someone who is not already legally allowed to perform weddings can do so. People can already be married at town hall but if you want someone special to perform the wedding the state makes you get a vote at the legislature. You are right it is a weird system.

Kristen Chambers
Guest
Kristen Chambers

Ange Storm-Weber states it perfectly- “because separate is never really equal.”
What I don’t understand, and I haven’t looked into it, is why are ANY solemnization approvals taking up precious time at the State House? Why can’t this be accomplished at a town hall?