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Are Rhode Island’s Lawmakers Preparing to Ditch Gay Marriage For Second-Class Civil Unions?

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Like any group of lawmakers who turn themselves into pussies the second any hint of doing what’s right gets in the way of getting re-elected, Rhode Island’s state legislators who once seemed gung-ho about legalizing gay marriage are now turning to the possibility of only giving gays civil unions. But these civil unions wouldn’t just be for homosexuals: they’d be for anyone who cannot legally marry. Which means marriage would remain the strict territory of heteros, while gays (and elderly siblings, cousins, and neighbors who want to share property or health insurance) would be eligible for civil unions. Because what gay couples need is the same legal recognition that a son could enter in with his mother. Meanwhile, Gov. Lincoln Chafee made gay marriage one of his core issues after being elected, and Democratic lawmakers (including the gay ones) have backed the effort.