This is the first post for my action project for my Gender & Women’s Studies course at URI. My project is on same-sex marriage and a same-sex couple’s rights to marriage and how they are discriminated against. This project isn’t solely for Rhode Island. It is about the United States of America as a whole. I took photos of students at URI in the same format as the NOH8 Campaign, which has duct tape over a person’s mouth and NOH8 written on his/her cheek. Pictures will be posted soon.
Same-Sex Marriage in Rhode Island
- Rhode Island allows civil unions and out-of-state same-sex marriages, but only from the state of Massachusetts.
- July 2, 2011, Governor Chafee signed a bill allowing civil unions in the state of Rhode Island.
- The bill has controversial exemptions that allow any religiously affiliated organization or institution, such as schools, universities and hospitals, to deny recognition of civil union spouses. Because of this, it is unpopular among marriage equality advocates.
- In a poll done by Brown University in May 2009, 60% of Rhode Islanders support the legalization of same-sex marriage.
- As of February 2012, only 46 couples have established civil unions.
Facts on Same-Sex Marriage in the U.S.
- Iowa, Vermont, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington, New Hampshire, Maine, Maryland, and Washington D.C. have legalized same-sex marriage.
- The issue on same-sex marriage was introduced in the 1970s, where people believed that gay and lesbian couples were the reason why so many people were getting AIDs.
- Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004. The first legal same-sex marriages in U.S. history were performed May 17th in Cambridge.
- President Barack Obama is the first President to ever publicly state his support for same-sex marriage.
The NOH8 Campaign
- The NOH8 Campaign is a photographic silent protest. Photos feature subjects with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world, with “NOH8” painted on one cheek in protest.
- The NOH8 Campaign began four years ago, and has featured about 30,000 faces, ranging from celebrities to everyday people.
The Trevor Project
- Was founded by the people who created the documentary “Trevor” in 1998
- The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.
What are the main differences between a civil union and a marriage?
- Civil marriage brings with it at least 1,138 legal protections and responsibilities from the federal government, including the right to take leave from work to care for a family member and Social Security survivor benefits that can make a difference between old age in poverty and old age in security.
- It is respected across the United States, and if you are married, you are married in all fifty states.
- Civil Union:
- Civil unions have no legal protections and responsibilities from the federal government, and do not attain many from the state in which they live (as long as it is legal there).
- It is considered as a separate status. Partners in a civil union, when filling out forms, have to fill them out separately as if they are living in a single family unit.
- There is no respect for people in civil unions. Civil unions may be legal in some states, but if a couple moved to a state where it is not, their legal protections vanish, and they aren’t considered anything.
For more information specifically on the NOH8 Campaign, you can visit: http://www.noh8campaign.com
For information on The Trevor Project: http://www.thetrevorproject.org