So, marriage equality is all the rage these days in Providence. Who knows if Divine Providence in the Heavens and throughout the Earth would be inclined to agree, or would decline to permit such a standard.
Governor Lincoln Chafee runs a state with the highest unemployment, the worst business climate, and the most pressing pension obligations in the country, and he wants to let people of the same sex tie the knot? Why not undo the heavy burdens marriage in the first place by wholly removing the government from holy matrimony? Besides, tying the knot is not a prerogative of the government. Marriage does not belong to the state, and there is no state less qualified to discuss commitment about anything that Rhode Island. The Ocean State political class has not been faithful to her share-holders, her taxpayers, and even the many people who are barely making it on whatever they can get from public thievery or private charity.
Marriage, like the rearing of our children or the feeding of men and women, does not belong to the government. The first time that civil unions were instituted ("civil union" is a euphemism since any growth or encroachment of the government into a higher institution is neither civil nor unified), the Prussian "Iron Chancellor" Otto von Bismarck created it because he was fighting against the political power of the Catholic church in the German states. In a domestic policy move which historians have termed "Kulturkampf", or "culture war", Bismarck wanted to remove the private authority of the separate Catholic authority over the unions of men and women. As a matter course, the notion of two men or two women marrying each other was unimaginable in the mid-to-late 1800's
Unlike the Catholic priests in the German states, Protestant ministers were paid by the German princes or the regional governments. Hence, there was no real religious liberty in Germany for decades, aside from the Catholic churches, where congregants did not respect the religious preeminence in their prince or their king. Instead, they regarded the traditions of their church communities and the preeminence of the Pope. Bismarck would not brook any dissent in his planned unified Germany, so he required that Prussian couples receive a license from the state in order to "tie the knot".
Bismarck wanted to subjugate the Catholic Church as a crowning achievement for the unification of all German states to the Prussian Crown. The Catholic Southern German regions resisted unification, in part because the power base and legacy of regional rule remained strong. Only after the Franco-Prussian War, which pitted an easily-slighted France against the German war-machine, did Prussian Prime Minister Bismarck establish the requisite alliances to bring together all the German states under one federal government. Just to rub it in, King Wilhelm of Prussia was crowned Kaiser Wilhelm in the "Hall of Mirrors" in Versailles. Following this unification ceremony, civil unions spread throughout the remaining German states.
Bismarck's legacy of government overreach into the private sacrament of marriage continued in the United States. Managing-and-controlling progressives wanted to track the health of individual couples getting married. This insulting policy proceeded from the notion that a man and a woman were so incompetent, that they would blindly marry a blood relative or a spouse with a devastating venereal disease. This nanny-state intervention held a shot gun to the institution, and so marriage licenses were required from the early 1900's to this day.
Today, the vocal gay minority wants to change the definition of marriage and force private institutions to recognize their diverse unions. Another bullying power grab which abuses the power of the state, gay marriage (and straight marriage, for that matter) should not be the battleground of today's culture wars. Rhode Island founder Roger Williams established his colony on toleration and religious liberty. The state's requirement that all unions be defined, determined, and dedicated by the government is another step away from religious liberty and toward state-sponsored tyranny in the name of "marriage equality" (a malapropism, since a good marriage is not about equality, but mutual submission between partners).
Leaders in the Providence statehouse have no right, reason, nor respect to play Providence in the state of Rhode Island or in anyone's house. Rhode Island leaders should be wedded to divorcing the citizens from the state's outrageous pension obligations instead of stepping to who marries whom.The Ocean State's conservative communities, of which there are more than most politicians or media elites realize, and the Rhode Island GOP should demand that their government respect the institution of marriage and leave it alone. They have no authority to pronounce men and women "man and wife", since the leaders in Providence will have to pronounce their state "indebted and bankrupt" very soon because of their inability to keep their vows to maintain the soundness and stability of Rhode Island.