A letter to a Rep. Trillo written by my friend supporting marriage equality

The following was sent to Representative Trillo but I will be sharing this with all the legislators. I think it lays out the case quite well. Hopefully Trillo will read through all of it. As has been demonstrated by legislator response thus far legislators do not appear to be the most erudite of the bunch.

I also this does a good job of debunking the claims of the religious bigots.

Dear Representative Trillo,

My name is {redacted} and I have been a registered Democrat that has voted in each state that I have resided in over the last twenty five years. For the last nine years I have called Rhode Island home. For all intents and purposes I plan to retire here. Before the House is one of the more important pieces of legislation for the past several years. It is a rare opportunity when a civil servant is given the opportunity to have an effect on history. In many ways civil rights have made advances for people of color, for the handicapped and in some minor ways for gays and lesbians. In this regard we have progressed as a people. My wife and I have enjoyed the opportunity to live in a state that in so many ways has shown an open view to various minorities and has taken for the most part a live and let live approach.

Presently Rhode Island once again has the opportunity to be in a position of leadership. Roger Williams one of the founders of this state formed what would eventually become Rhode Island on the basis of true religious freedom and tolerance. In many ways he was able to accomplish his goals. It is ironic that these same groups including Catholics are now at the forefront of trying to bar basic civil rights from another minority. Mr. Trillo I was raised Catholic and I know a little of American History. At one point Catholics were being considered as a group that should not be given voting rights very early in our nation’s history. At the time it was not popular to grant them the vote or to allow them to run for public office. A basic review of anti-papist literature in the early nineteenth century would attest to this fact. Our founding fathers did not have the vote or the good will of the people. However, they did have the strength of their convictions. In fact as we all know Catholics were given the right to vote, to hold property and to hold public office. Our country went to war rather than eventually wait for the votes to grant African Americans the full rights of citizenship. People that hold a bigoted or intolerant position never willingly surrender their views. It is often the act of brave legislators that move our society forward. If we consider how the world stands with full civil rights granted to African Americans and those who are handicapped do we not feel that these were positive outcomes?

It is often difficult to hold our religious beliefs and participate in a secular government. However, we do in fact live in just such an environment. We do this so that those of Muslim, Hindu or of the Ba’hai faith may worship in peace and security. Roger Williams would be proud of this development. So how do we answer the religious claims of our day that marriage is only between a man and a woman? How indeed do we answer the religious claim that abortion is a sin. The answer to these moral questions is individual responsibility. Although I was raised Catholic, my daughter has followed her mother and pursues the Jewish faith. No one tells her to stop using all electronic devices, or to walk instead of taking public transportation. No one tells her nor is their legislation on the books that bans all products using leavening during Passover. However, she does these things from her own personal conviction. The government neither sanctions nor prohibits her actions. In all things the civil government allows for civil unions and the ability of grown adults to govern their lives free from government intervention. To the person who is a good Catholic I say feed the poor, tend to the sick and raise your children as you see fit to serve God. No one will stop you from these pursuits. Mr. Trillo I say to you let adult men and women have the same choice to choose and celebrate the lives that they wish to live free from government prohibition. In this regard you will work in the true spirit of Roger Williams and will once again put Rhode Island where she belongs, in the position of leadership.

I thank you for hearing my concerns.


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