As gay marriage is shaping up to be a key issue for the General Assembly in the 2013 session Bishop Tobin of the Providence Catholic Diocese is weighing in, calling for Rhode Island lawmakers to reject same-sex marriage.
"The Catholic Church has consistently promoted respect and pastoral care for individuals with same-sex attraction," said Tobin in a statement. "They are children of God and our brothers and sisters. They are invited to be members of our churches. It is our very concern for their spiritual welfare, however, that motivates our rejection of the homosexual lifestyle and same-sex marriage."
Tobin said same sex marriage poses a threat to religious freedom and suggested that the proposal should be voted on by the voters of Rhode Island.
He said same sex marriage is not an issue for Rhode Island lawmakers but instead should be addressed on a national level.
"As early as this summer the Supreme Court might rule that the federal "Defense of Marriage Act" is constitutional and enforceable; or that states must recognize homosexual unions; or that each state has the right to make its own decision in this matter," the Bishop writes. "In any event, why is Rhode Island spending time and energy on this issue right now when the Supreme Court might make the decision for us? Let's wait and see what the Supreme Court determines before we engage in this emotionally-charged and divisive battle once again."