'Rhode Island, Most Catholic State, Welcomes Gay Marriage'

“Without a Doubt” is the name of the column Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, R.I., writes in his diocesan newspaper. In Arpil 2009, that column bore the headline “Rhode Island, Most Catholic State, Welcomes Gay Marriage.” (More than half of Rhode Islanders are Catholic various sources say).

Tobin explained his headline: “That’s a headline we haven’t seen yet, dear readers, but probably will in the next couple of years.” He uses the rest of the column to rally his Catholic faithful and defeat any attempts to make gay marriage or civil unions legal.

Tobin has been a staunch defender of traditional marriage and has opposed the civil union bill as “a gateway to gay marriage.”

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Tobin’s headline pretty much came true last night.

Late on Wednesday, Rhode Island's Senate approved 21 to 16 same-sex civil unions, passing without amendments a controversial bill from the House and sent it to the governor who is expected to sign the law. The law would grant legal rights to same-sex partners "without the historical and religious meaning associated with the word marriage," a statement from the Rhode Island General Assembly said. (See: Rhode Island Senate approves same-sex civil unions.)

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