Recently installed Rhode Island
Episcopal Bishop W. Nicholas Knisely on Friday said he supports an
effort to legalize gay marriage in the state.
“The Episcopal Church has been
blessed for many years by the life and ministry of gay and lesbian
couples, both lay and ordained,” Knisely said in a letter to
clergy. “I have seen how they contribute to the common good of a
congregation and a community by creating stable, loving homes. As a
new citizen of Rhode Island, I am eager to see our state legislature
join many others across the country in passing legislation to ensure
civil marriage equality.”
The Religious Coalition for Marriage
Equality, a coalition of more than 140 religious leaders from
different faiths, thanked Knisely for his support.
Knisely's “statement endorsing HB5015
– not in spite of his faith in Christ, but because of it – is a
powerful and eloquent reminder that, in the end, this debate is about
families,” said the
Rev. Gene Dyszlewski, the group's chair. “It is about those
loving and committed couples, our friends and neighbors, who are
denied access to the unique recognition and protection offered by
After holding a hearing on the marriage
bill last week, a
House committee is expected Tuesday to vote on it.