(PROVIDENCE, R.I.)- The Rhode Island Catholic Conference today released the following statement relative to the Rhode Island House of Representative’s vote to redefine marriage as the state’s unemployment rate exceeds 10 percent and the homeless struggle to find safe and warm shelter in single digit temperatures.
The Conference serves as the advocate for the Roman Catholic Church before the Rhode Island General Assembly and other civic officials.
“Today’s vote by the House of Representatives undermines the common good of our state and strikes against the very foundation of our culture. Unfortunately, this bill redefines marriage and fails to protect the religious liberties of many faith communities and individuals of conscience who believe that marriage is a union of one man and one woman. As witnessed in other states, those who support traditional marriage will most likely be punished by costly lawsuits and cultural persecution.
Sadly, the House has denied Rhode Islanders the opportunity to vote on a question of this magnitude by placing it on a referendum, an opportunity many other states have afforded. Given that the United States Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision on this very divisive matter, legislative leaders should focus on initiatives to reduce the state’s high rate of unemployment and poverty by addressing the economic challenges that affect all Rhode Islanders.”
Father Bernard A. Healey serves as the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Catholic Conference.