A Step Back

Why Is the HRC Making a Big Stink Over Rhode Island’s New Civil Unions Bill?

Because they have read the fine print.

The Rhode Island senate passed a new civil unions bill, but gay rights groups like the HRC, Marriage Equality Rhode Island and Think Progress LGBT are asking the governor to veto it. Despite the fact that the bill extends rights to same-sex partners, the HRC is calling it “flawed” because of a religious exemption clause that gives churches the right to deny services to gay couples.

According to the HRC, the bill creates “discriminatory hurdles” for gay partners not necessarily wanting to get married in a church, but for those admitted to a Catholic hospital or employees of a religious university, where partner rights could be denied on the basis of the “religious exemption” clause.

Apparently, not all civil union bills are a step forward. Some are so disoriented that they’ve got us walking backwards without realizing it.

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