2011-02-24 / Letters to the Editor

Majority vote should determine legislature

There is an issue before the Rhode Island state legislature that we should all be aware of for a variety of reasons, not the least among them is the fact that the individuals pushing this legislation are reluctant to have a state referendum concerning it because they fear it will be defeated.

When this particular issue has gone before the voting public it has been defeated 31 times out of 31 attempts. The only states where it has passed is in those states that have had the bill passed by the individual state legislatures.

In a conversation with one of our local representatives, the reason given for not having the issue decided by a statewide referendum was that the general public wouldn’t approve it. There goes our democracy.

The issue I am referring to is gay marriage. It is an item that is being pushed by a very small, but very vocal, segment of our state legislature. House Speaker Gordon Fox, an openly gay individual, along with Rep. Deborah Ruggiero, want this issue to be decided by the state legislature because they fear that the voting public will not do the right thing in their mind and that is approve the gay marriage law. In other words, they don’t trust the majority in Rhode Island to do what they consider to be in their vested interest.

A marriage between a man and a woman is much more then a religious ceremony. It has been a part of our culture since the beginning of time. It is the very foundation of not only the most civilized cultures but can be found in the ceremonies of the most basic primitive societies.

I respect the relationships that exist in the gay community but those relationships are not the same as those that exist between a man and a woman. I have brought my wife to the hospital where we suffered through the torment of a miscarriage. We have experienced the joy of the birth of a beautiful baby boy only to have that joy shattered by his short life and untimely death. It is a sorrow that we still share many years later.

That sorrow has been eased and supplanted by the birth of two sons and my wife’s fifth pregnancy, which brought us triplet boys. These are experiences that only a man and woman can share.

These experiences that my wife and I have shared are not unique to what many married couples have gone through but they are unique to a man and woman. This effort on the part of a few is in my opinion not a civil rights issue as some would like us to believe, but an attack on our cultural foundation.

William A. Kelly


The writer is a former

Town Council member.

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