Led by Mayor Michael Hancock, Anna and Fran Simon are the first couple to take part in a civil union ceremony at the Webb Building in Denver, Colorado. The Clerk and Recorder’s Office opened for business from midnight to 3 a.m. to issue civil union licenses to couples on May 01, 2013, when the Civil Union Act became law. By Craig F. Walker/The Denver Post via Getty Images.
Meanwhile, the Rhode Island bill for marriage equality carries the following important religious exemptions:
The bill that passed the House stated that religious institutions may set their own rules regarding who is eligible to marry within the faith and specifies that no religious leader is obligated to officiate at any marriage ceremony. The Senate added language to ensure that groups like the Knights of Columbus aren’t legally obligated to provide facilities for same-sex weddings.
I favor maximal religious liberty with maximal civil equality. The point is the expansion of freedom, not its contraction. And religious freedom and gay freedom are inseparable under the Constitution, in my view. That mix is likely to be signed into law tomorrow. It’s the formula of the future.