The Lack of Legislative Leadership in Rhode Island and how it impacts gay rights

So this past Thursday night we went over the the Bell Street Chapel to see a series of LGBT short movies as part of the RI International Film Festival.

After the movie they had a panel comprised of some people I know: Rep. Frank Ferri, Sen. Rhoda Perry, Marriage Equality Executive Director Kathy Kushnir, and MERI board member Paige and her partner Sarah as well as the Director of the movie “We”, Carl Rashad Jaeger.

They all echoed how close we are to achieving marriage equality here in RI. But Keyron has an interesting perspective on it. He sees the inertia present in our legislative leadership as well as I do.

What really prompted me to write this is this following paragraph from the Courage Campaign Prop 8 Tracker’s recent post on As NOM’s tour sputters to a finish in nation’s capital, a city celebrates the freedom to marry

UPDATE BY ADAM (12:12 PST): On that theme, DC Councilmember and straight ally Phil Mendelson, who did a great deal of the legwork in sponsoring the marriage legislation, rounding up the other 10 votes in support of it, and pushed back on the Catholic Diocese’s effort to torpedo the bill, is now speaking at the Freedom Plaza rally:

I must give props to DC Council Member Phil Mendelson for rousing the troops on marriage equality in DC. But it influences what I am about to say greatly.

The population of DC is a bit over half a million people. Population of RI hovers around a million. So the DC council is a powerful body.

Here in RI we COULD HAVE HAD full equality LAST year. Look, if we could get a funeral rights bill passed, then vetoed by Governor Don “The Asshole” Carcieri, and finally have that veto overridden by the legislature, we could get a marriage equality bill to do the same. But there wasn’t even a hearing for the bill this past year, excuse being the economy.

Yes, if you too are saying “What the fuck?” you understand exactly where I’m going with this.

Let me state clearly that our Speaker of the House is an OPENLY GAY MAN! So how the hell did we not have this pushed to the front?

It’s LEADERSHIP or the lack thereof in our legislative body. Then there is Senate President M. Therese Paiva-Weed. I’ve had a brief email conversation with her but I get the feeling that she’s terrified to act on this.

As I said, if the LEADERSHIP of the house doesn’t know how to beat the bushes and lead their respective legislative bodies then maybe they need some serious encouragement.

As it stands now we have enormous support in the House, and if Paiva-Weed ever decides to pick up the reigns maybe we’d have the same in the Senate and we can pass this bill even with the Asshole still in the governors chair, and then override his inevitable veto of said equality.

This all leaves me shaking my head saying “WHAT THE FUCK!”

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