As Rhode Island prepares to become one
of the next battlegrounds in the gay marriage debate, Governor Donald
Carcieri has announced he and his wife, Sue, have joined the Rhode
Island Chapter of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a
group that opposes gay marriage.
The governor made his announcement this
morning at the State House, reports WPRI, a Providence broadcaster.
Carcieri called himself a
“traditionalist,” saying a child is better off in a home with a
mother and father, and called for a vote on the issue.
“In Massachusetts it was the court.
In Vermont it was the legislature. I believe the issue ought to be
dealt with by all of our citizens. ... And let them decide,”
Carcieri's backing comes as NOM
prepares to launch a new anti-gay marriage campaign set to run in
several states considering legalizing gay marriage, including Maine,
New Hampshire and Rhode Island, the nation's smallest state.
In one commercial, somber looking
people talk about the issue amid a dark and stormy background.
“There's a storm gathering,” a
woman says, followed by another, “And I am afraid.”
“They want to bring the issue into my
life,” a man says.
“Freedom will be taken away,” says
“I'm a Massachusetts parent
helplessly watching public schools teach me son that gay marriage is
OK,” another woman says.
Kathy Kushner of Marriage Equality
Rhode Island, a group that lobbies for gay marriage in the state,
told reporters the “tide is absolutely turning” in favor of gay
In the last five days, the number of
states where gay marriage is legal has doubled. On Friday, the Iowa
Supreme Court unanimously struck down a gay marriage ban. And
yesterday, Vermont narrowly passed a gay marriage bill. Vermont
becomes the first state to legislatively approve gay marriage,
instead of by court order.
At least one analysis posted at the
concludes Rhode Island voters would reject a gay marriage ban.
Rhode Island is set to begin debate on
two bills: one would legalize gay marriage; the other bans it.
Carcieri told reporters that he was not
a gay foe, “I am not anti-gay, never have been.”