Same-sex ‘marriage’ arrives in Minnesota and Rhode Island, anti-Christian bias to follow: Leader
PROVIDENCE, RI, August 1, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – August 1 marked the first day of legalized same-sex “marriages” in Minnesota and Rhode Island, after both states’ legislatures passed laws redefining marriage to include homosexual couples last spring. That brings to 13 the number of U.S. states that have redefined marriage, along with the District of Columbia.
In Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed August 1 “Freedom to Marry Day,” and homosexuals started lining up outside government offices the evening before to be among the first to take advantage of the new law. At midnight, Minneapolis’s City Hall was packed with about 1,000 people who came to witness Governor Dayton, Mayor R.T. Rybak, and a handful of Hennepin County judges “marry” 67 gay and lesbian couples.
In Rhode Island, there was no such fanfare. Municipal offices opened as usual at 8:30 a.m., and both homosexual activists and county clerks told local media they weren’t expecting a rush on marriage licenses. Since same-sex nuptials are already legal in all the other New England states, homosexuals who wanted to get “married” before today did not have far to travel.
“I don't expect a ton of weddings to pop up tomorrow,” Ray Sullivan, campaign director for Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, told Boston’s WCVB Wednesday. “Because of our proximity to states that have had the freedom to 'marry' – Massachusetts and Connecticut – we have a large number of couples that are already married.”
Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), said he expected the new laws to lead to family breakdown and the harassment of people who hold traditional beliefs about marriage.
“This is a sad day in Minnesota and Rhode Island as politicians have allowed a mockery to be made of the institution of marriage, which throughout our history has been our only social institution to bring men and women together for the benefit of any children born of their union,” said Brown. “Today Minnesota and Rhode Island embark on a new path that jettisons the interests of children from their state marriage law, and puts people of faith in harm's way for being punished for their beliefs.”
Brown said his organization would mount an election year campaign to hold politicians in both states accountable for voting for marriage redefinition.
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While both states’ laws allow churches that oppose gay “marriage” to refuse to officiate such ceremonies, Chris Plante, the executive director of the Rhode Island chapter of NOM, predicted that everyday Rhode Islanders who oppose same-sex “marriage” will soon face legal repercussions.
“The first florist, the first baker, the first tailor who says it ‘violates my deeply held beliefs, I don’t believe this is marriage, I can’t serve you,’ we know that they will be brought on some type of charges,” said Plante.
In other states, business owners have already been sued for refusing to participate in gay weddings on religious grounds. In Vermont, a Catholic innkeeper paid $30,000 in damages to a homosexual couple who sued after she refused to book their “wedding” reception.
A court in New Mexico forced a Christian couple to pay over $6,600 in fines after they were found guilty of “discrimination” for refusing to photograph a same-sex “wedding.”
Additionally, Maine, which legalized gay marriage last November, informed its 25,000 public notaries that refusal to perform gay marriage ceremonies will result in being charged with “human rights violations.”