Rhode Island College Rainbow Alliance Marriage Equality Panel Debate

The only reason I knew about this is because I got an email from the National Organization for Marriage (There’s that oxymoron again!). Very short notice on this one.

Here’s the panel:

Rainbow Alliance Panel
Rainbow Alliance Panel

I didn’t get the names for everyone, missing are those for the gay Episcopal Priest, the Attorney and the gentleman in the gray suit. When I have more information I’ll post it.

First a bit of introduction form the panel. In this video we get a gay Episcopal priest, RI Rep. Frank Ferri, Cassandra Ormiston, the Attorney an the gentleman in the grey suit. Unfortunately my camera battery died just as I got the opposition as it were.

But fear not, I can identify those on the ‘con’ side. First we have Mr. Chris Plante, Executive Director of NOM-RI, Reverend John Codega, Pastor of Christ the King Church in West Warwick, RI, and finally Dr. Paul Gondreau, a theology professor at Providence College (A Catholic institution.)

I don’t think I really have to focus on the pro side here. If you’ve read this blog at all you’ll know where I stand on the issue which mirrors the arguments put forth by those for marriage equality.

I did get to meet a few people in the flesh this evening. What I mean is I have corresponded with them via email but just never crossed paths at the right time. I met Susan MacNeil who is the devel director for Marriage Equality Rhode Island, also got to finally meet Rep. Frank Ferri and his husband Tony Carparco.

We heard from the Rev. Codega that “There is no such thing as gay marriage.” and that marriage is not a civil right, that marriages are ordained by God. He also brought up the procreation aspect which as many point out is meaningless. Good friends of ours are married and they didn’t want any kids. I say good for them. Under Codega’s view their marriage isn’t whole or complete because they have no spawn.

Dr. Paul Goudreau (His RateMyProfessor rating overall is 3.4), stated that the authority over marriage is granted by nature. Using the term “nature” is a code word for God. He goes on to state that “God can be known.” and marriage is intrinsically in God’s domain, that we can’t transfer the authority of nature to the state. But then he goes on to mention the tax benefits conferred to married couples.

That’s right Dr. Goudreau, you don’t know it all. You completely disregard the state whereas I disregard the religious but prefer the state.

On the pro side, Rep. Ferri said that it just feels right to say that you’re married. I understand that concept very well, there’s a certain cachet that comes with the words.

What I liked about the forum is that we didn’t have the same rules of decorum we usually have in the hearing chambers at the State House. So some minor heckling was in order.

There were a couple of women who got up to ask questions who stated that they had in one case 10 children, in the other 7 children.

I have one thing to say on the subject and the below image sums it up nicely.

It's a Vagina, Not a Clown Cat
It's a Vagina, Not a Clown Cat

Anyhow when I got up I stated that the main point of contention was the civil v. religious and that since so many Biblical quotes were being thrown about, could the good Reverend please explain 1 Timothy 2:11, read back a few posts or just click the link to read what old Tim had to say about the women.

I then went on to remind him that the law is an evolving thing and so too is the interpretation of the Bible. Codega answered that in essence he was guilty of taking things out of context. After I’d testified Tony Carparco patted me on the back for that one.

Others who testified of course brought up the straw man argument of “What about the children?” I know the specific case they’re talking about, recall my post on the Worthless Wirthlins who got bent out of shape because the book “King and King” was read to their child.

But there was one young woman who got up to the mic, and said that she was a Catholic who supported the right of those who love each other to marry be they male/male, female/female, or male/female. This is something that terrifies the church hierarchy.

It’s funny, after the forum ended I was talking to my friend Rich Hite who is the acting chair for MERI, and Tony Carparco. Turns out I’m not the only former Catholic who is now an atheist.

But further the religious opposition comes down to one thing and one thing only. Religion is what we feel, no logic or cognition involved, just pure emotivism.

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