Rhode Island Governor: Will Veto Any Attempt To Put Issue Of Same-Sex marriage On Ballot For Vote
PROVIDENCE, RI -- Governor Lincoln Chafee said Thursday that he would likely veto any attempt to put same-sex marriage to a public vote. Chafee also said that he felt that the state's lawmakers owe it to the voters to decide themselves.
The Rhode Island House of Representatives is scheduled to vote within weeks on legislation that would allow same-sex couples to marry, however opponents of same-sex marriage have expressed their support for alternative legislation that would put the question before voters.
Same-sex marriage supporters say the issue is one of civil rights and shouldn't be decided by a vote. Rhode Island is now the only state in New England without same-sex marriage.
White House spokesman Shin Inouye responded to the pending legislation noting that the president backs the approval of the bill:
“While the President does not weigh in on every measure being considered by the states, he believes all couples should be treated fairly and equally, with dignity and respect.
As he has said, his personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so.”
Washington State Superior Court Judge Refuses To Perform Same Sex Marriages
|Judge Gary Tabor|
OLYMPIA, WA -- Thurston County Washington Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor told local media that he will not perform same-sex marriages due to his “philosophical and religious reasons, telling the Olympian newspaper; “I do not wish to perform same-sex marriages.”
In a phone interview Monday, Tabor said he did not intend for his choice “to be a political or legal statement.” He added that a number of other judges in the county have made themselves available to perform same sex marriages. He also added that he is not legally required to perform such marriages.
According to the Olympian, Tabor served as a deputy prosecuting attorney in Thurston County for almost 19 years before being elected Thurston County Superior Court judge in 1996, according to his biography on the court’s website. He is a graduate of Oklahoma Christian College, which is now known as Oklahoma Christian University. OCU’s website states that its members “strive to treat our bodies with the honor due the temple of the Holy Spirit—honoring God’s plan that sexual relations be a part of a marriage between a man and a woman, dressing modestly, and avoiding any self-destructive practices.”
Washington voters approved a same sex marriage referendum in November, and the law took effect in December.