So much for me being a smug New Englander who thinks that the Northeast is intellectually superior to the peckerwood hellholes of the Confederacy. Hot on the heels of Maine voters deciding that they don’t want all eight gay couples who live in Maine to have the right to marry who they want, Rhode Island Governor Carcieri vetoed a bill that would allow domestic partners to make funeral arrangements for each other. (source)
In his veto message, Republican Carcieri said: “This bill represents a disturbing trend over the past few years of the incremental erosion of the principles surrounding traditional marriage, which is not the preferred way to approach this issue. (source)
Yeah, because allowing someone who has lived with their partner for 17 years to make funeral arrangements for them would just destroy the bond that I have with my wife.
The domestic partner funeral arrangements bill arose from legislative sympathy, even from those in the Rhode Island state assembly who oppose full marriage rights for all Rhode Island citizens.
At a hearing this year on one of the stalled bills to allow same-sex marriage, Mark S. Goldberg told a Senate committee about his months-long battle last fall to persuade state authorities to release to him the body of his partner of 17 years, Ron Hanby, so he could grant Hanby’s wish for cremation — only to have that request rejected because “we were not legally married or blood relatives.”
Goldberg said he tried to show the police and the state medical examiner’s office “our wills, living wills, power of attorney and marriage certificate” from Connecticut, but “no one was willing to see these documents.”
He said he was told the medical examiner’s office was required to conduct a two-week search for next of kin, but the medical examiner’s office waited a full week before placing the required ad in a newspaper. And then when no one responded, he said, they “waited another week” to notify another state agency of an unclaimed body.
After four weeks, he said, a Department of Human Services employee “took pity on me and my plight … reviewed our documentation and was able to get all parties concerned to release Ron’s body to me,” but then the cremation society refused to cremate Ron’s body.
“On the same day, I contacted the Massachusetts Cremation Society and they were more than willing to work with me and cremate Ron’s body,” and so, “on November 6, 2008, I was able to finally pick up Ron’s remains and put this tragedy to rest.”
“I felt as if I was treated not as a second-class citizen, but as a noncitizen,” Goldberg told the Senate Judiciary Committee, an hour into the first hearing this year in the 13-year push by gay-rights advocates for the right to marry in Rhode Island, and the pushback from the Roman Catholic Church and other opponents. (source)
Well I sure am glad that my marriage is protected from heathens like Goldberg.