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1400+ Gay Couples Marry In New York As Only 9 Couples Sign Up For Civil Unions In Rhode Island

Almost after one month of the beginning of legal gay marriage in new York and the passage and beginning of legal Civil Unions in Rhode Island the data proves overwhelmingly that the Lesbian and Gay Community will not stand for separate and unequal treatment as over 14oo gay couples have wed in New York and only a handful have signed up for civil unions in the state of Rhode Island.

The city doesn’t know for certain how many of the 5,587 total marriage licenses issued through Aug. 12 were for same-sex couples, as officials removed the gender requirement from the application.

However, since applications have hovered around 4,200 licenses for the same period the prior three years, it’s reasonable to presume that this year’s 33 percent spike is almost entirely due to gay marriage, City Clerk Michael McSweeney said.

But in Rhode Island the picture is bleak.  More than a month after it became legal, only a few Rhode Island same-sex couples are taking advantage of the state’s new civil unions law.  Only nine couples were joined in civil unions in July, which was the first month licenses were available.

Even for Rhode Island, the smallest state  with a population of 1 million people, the total is miniscule, and marriage equality advocates said it proves their point that civil unions are a “poor substitute.” for gay marriage and that the lesbian and gay community wants nothing to do with it.

Advocates have vowed to push for the marriage equality legislation again in next year.  Last year’s marriage equality push failed miserably due to lack of support of   lawmakers including Gordon Fox, the gay speaker of the Rhode Island House and lack of backbone of Marriage Equality Rhode Island which  took up civil unions as a compromise solution believing that something is better than nothing.

 

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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