Rhode Island to Recognize Out of State Same-Sex Marriages

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee.

(Providence, RHODE ISLAND) Today Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee officially announced same-sex marriages performed outside the state will now be recognized by the Rhode Island government according to the Associated Press.

Normally, under the Full Faith and Credit  Clause of the Constitution, every state is required to recognize marriages performed outside its territorial limits as long as that marriage was valid within the state in which it was created and the marriage is not gravely in conflict with the recognizing state’s public policy. After the Defense of Marriage Act was passed, it effectively made it possible for states to forego recognition of marriages made outside their state if the marriage was a union between same-sex partners.  The act says that no state must recognize a same-sex marriage performed in another state, this was the main reason the act was created after Hawaii was considering legislation legalizing same-sex marriage and therefore compel other states to at least recognize same-sex marriages performed in Hawaii as valid.

Rhode Island will now permit those same-sex couples married outside the state to retain their married status within Rhode Island along with any privileges the state provides to married couples. Unfortunately, Rhode Island does not legally permit same-sex marriages to be performed and licensed in the state. In a way Rhode Island is actually granting/recognizing more rights than it is willing to give its own citizens. Same-sex married couples may now be listed on a child’s birth certificate jointly, obtain health insurance benefits from their spouse, and receive marital tax exemptions.

Currently, Rhode Island does allow civil unions but they fall short of the complete list of  rights associated with marriage. Instead the distinction between marriage and civil unions creates a class of couples who are afforded less rights, and a union inferior under the law. GLAAD has published information on the distinctions which can be read by clicking the following link: GLAD Marriage and Civil Union Guide.

Congratulations to the same-sex couple married couples of Rhode Island, we’re almost there!

Iran Set to Execute 4 More Gay Men

Teenage boys being hanged for sodomy in Iran in 2005.

(Iran) This month an Iranian criminal court has sentenced four men to death by hanging for committing sodomy.

 Iran Human Rights reported last month that one prisoner was hanged in Semnan for carrying 3 kilos of crack, and was considered a gangster. He was also said to have committed “heinous crimes”, which many human rights advocates claim is code for sodomy. I’ve been unable to track down the charges or stories of the other three men.

According to the International Human Rights Commission, under the Islamic Penal Code of Iran(Article 108), a man found guilt of penetrative sex with a member of his own biological sex is to be executed while women found guilty of similar crimes are to be lashed.

These four men’s lost lives will be added to a long list of over 4,000 gay men and lesbians who have been murdered by the Iranian government since the Ayatollahs took power in 1979. This number is speculative due to Iran’s efforts to mask the reasons behind many of its executions from the scrutiny of the world, and could be much higher.

As President Obama openly supports same-sex marriage, and Mitt Romney becomes even more of a yes man to the ignorant, bigoted populace we need to remember that the war for gay rights doesn’t end in the United States. Steps have been taken by the Obama administration through Secretary of State Clinton to announce to the world that gay and lesbian rights are human rights. Although I am happy with the administrations steps to assist the world’s sexual minorities, in the years to come I hope that idea will extend beyond Europe and the Americas. Until then there are people all over the world being harassed and murdered for practicing the rights we here take for granted. And seemingly we have little ability to help them other than through organizations like the ORAM and IRQR . Remember that in some ways you are lucky.

Source: Jihad Watch

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