NK's Two Reps Vote on Opposite Sides of Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Rep. Craven supported the measure while Rep. Costa voted against a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Rhode Island.


Thursday evening, the Rhode Island House of Representatives made history by passing a bill that would make same-sex marriage legal in Rhode Island. The measure passed 51-19. North Kingstown's two state representatives voted on opposite sides of the issue, with Rep. Doreen Costa (R – North Kingstown, Exeter) against it and Rep. Robert Craven, Sr. (D – North Kingstown) supporting it.

Costa said she voted against the bill because of correspondence from her constituents that heavily opposed the redefinition of marriage and the passage of a law allowing same-sex marriage.

"The mass amount of phone calls in opposition from my district were more than I expected," said Costa. "It was about 3-1 against it."

Despite her vote, Costa said she believes that same-sex couples "should have every single right we have." However, she did not believe that the government should be intervening in the matter and the matter should have gone out to the voters.

"I think the people should have decided this," said Costa. "I don't think 75 representatives in the House had any business in voting on this."

Costa added that she's happy the vote is behind them and that she and other representatives can focus on bill regarding the economy, job creation, etc.

The bill now goes to the State Senate for a vote. A date for vote has yet to be scheduled.

At the time of this posting, Rep. Craven had not returned our request for a statement regarding the vote. Check back later for updates.

Carol McKenna January 25, 2013 at 01:37 PM
To Rep Costa - Rights are not supposed to be voted on, thats why they are called RIGHTS.
Mike Burt January 25, 2013 at 02:04 PM
This is a civil right...not a matter of legislation. To deny anyone their rights in this country to freely express themselves potentially harms us all. If we suddenly have the rights to deny one group and not another, what is there to say that your rights will not be next. That said the sad fact remains that freedom is never given it is won through struggle. Hopefully this struggle will be over soon.
Ed Renehan January 25, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Costa's vote was predictable but, thankfully in this case, also irrelevant. The Tea Partyers want government out of everything except our bedrooms.
Politics Sheriff of NK January 25, 2013 at 05:12 PM
If it was a RIGHT, then why would laws need to be passed to allow it, when someone could have taken it to the courts and established it as a RIGHT. Get your facts straight. Ed, Costa's vote is not irrelevant, any more than yours is on Nov 4. How arrogant a statement. wow
Ray Aldrich January 25, 2013 at 06:52 PM
You are absolutely right! The Constitution guarantees equal protection under the law.
Ray Aldrich January 25, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Try reading the actual Constitution. Find the phrase "equal protection of the laws." Marriage is a legal status.
Pam January 25, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Rep. Costa, now that this is over in the House, are you resubmitting the bus-monitor bill this year? I think in the last couple of years, it was established that any district that wanted the bus driver to be able to see kids outside the bus better could outfit their buses with new technology that would be far less expensive than having bus monitors doing the looking.
Ed Renehan January 25, 2013 at 07:58 PM
Laws don't sometimes have to be passed to enable rights? Tell that to the people in the South who weren't being allowed to vote until the passage of the Civil Rights Act. And if Costa's vote was relevant, then it would have been on the side that carried the day. One more vote in the minority camp is irrelevant, as in any zero-sum activity. As for arrogance, I suppose it is also arrogance that I have the guts to put my name and face to my words, unlike you.
Politics Sheriff of NK January 26, 2013 at 03:59 AM
Just to be sure, I support gay marriage. But I also support Doreen as my rep. We dont have to agree on every last issue.
Politics Sheriff of NK January 26, 2013 at 04:01 AM
Backsassing your so prophetic, a real genius. wow. Did you come up with that all by yourself?
NK Politics January 26, 2013 at 01:26 PM
How about putting this out for public vote?? We won't see a vote - the few that are in control KNOW that the majority of RI is against it!! Just more of the same.
observer January 26, 2013 at 01:58 PM
The Gov has stated that he will veto any attempt to put this issue before the public. This is an issue that everyone, not just a handful of pols should decide. What has happened to our form of democracy when the right of the people to be heard is thwarted by an elected (small minority of the voters-37%) dictatorial figure head. This is the same foolishness that was put forth by this Gov concerning the murder of Mr. Main and his alleged perpetrator. He continues to show that he has no regard for the will of the people in this state. Hopefully in 2014 RI will have better choices for the governorship and will install someone who understands that "We the People" also have rights. @Ed R---laws can be and sometimes should be passed to protect constitutional rights. Therein lies the issue, constitutional rights not morality. This issue of rights, could easily be rectified by a well written law which does not trample upon some of the societal mores that propagate our very existence as human beings. I'll cite one such example the EEOC and the many wrongs they have righted over the years.
Mike January 27, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Doreen Costa can now focus on the economy, but she will not get anything passed. She has not had 1 bill passed in the 2 years she has been in the House, what makes her think she will get a bill passed this year. Wasting time - taking up space! Oh wait, a "Christmas tree RESOLUTION". Like I said, wasting time - taking up space!
Politics Sheriff of NK January 28, 2013 at 06:21 AM
Mike would you rather have CARTER back?
NK Politics January 28, 2013 at 01:18 PM
Yea, probably best if she got in line for status quo, it's not like there's anything wrong with RI. Give me a break!
Dan Johnson February 10, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Anti-gay prejudice is taught early in life before the ability to think critically is developed. That makes assimilation of new and conflicting information difficult, though it can be done. Many have changed their understanding of gay people and most polls show the majority now support equality. Yet all gay people have lived their entire lives waiting for equal treatment under the law as promised in the founding documents and required by the 5th and 14th amendments. Meanwhile, many gay people continue to kill themselves every year because they can't reconcile their sexual orientation with the dehumanizing prejudice they were taught by the law and society from early childhood. Yet, all mainstream medical and social science organizations in the US agree, being gay is a natural expression of human love and bonding for a minority of the population. It has always been that way, and there is no longer any reasonable or scientifically supportable excuse for prejudice and discrimination. We also know through history, science, literature, logic, and reason, that prejudice and discrimination cause needless suffering and death. Now is the time to discard the unsupportable prejudice we have been taught from childhood, and replace it with reality. It is time to treat others as we would ouselves, under the law.
Dan Johnson February 10, 2013 at 07:43 PM
Equal rights should never depend on any vote. The 14th amendment says no state shall "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." The Equal Protection Clause of the 5th amendment also requires equal treatment for each person. "The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections." (SCOTUS) Attorneys Theodore B. Olson and David Boies wrote in their prop.8 filing: "Fourteen times the Supreme Court has stated that marriage is a fundamental right of all individuals. This case tests the proposition whether the gay and lesbian Americans among us should be counted as ‘persons’ under the 14th Amendment, or whether they constitute a permanent underclass ineligible for protection under that cornerstone of our Constitution.” There is no rational governmental interest served by denial of the fundamental right of marriage to all persons. Denial provides nothing to opposite sex couples. It only harms same sex couple families.
Dan Johnson February 10, 2013 at 07:57 PM
It should come as no surprise that a majority can overpower and marginalize a minority. History gives us plenty of examples. In fact, the founding fathers were well aware of the history of suffering and death inflicted on minorities by majorities, and that is the very reason we have a bill of rights: to protect minorities from the majority. John Adams, the second U.S. president, stated that "the majority has eternally, and without one exception, usurped over the rights of the minority." James Madison wrote: “It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part … If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure.” Attempts to restrict marriage have resulted in 14 Supreme Court cases affirming marriage as a fundamental civil right of the individual. The founders knew majorities would restrict the equal rights of minorities if they could get away with it. It often takes a long time to correct the legal discrimination of previous generations. Two cases affirming marriage equality for gay people are currently before the Supreme Court. Hopefully, they will take this opportunity to affirm marriage as a fundamental right of all persons for the 15th time.
Dan Johnson February 10, 2013 at 08:04 PM
"All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression." - Thomas Jefferson Equal rights were never intended to depend on any vote. Equal treatment under the law is not just a promise of the founding documents, it is required by the 5th and 14th amendments to the constitution. (And the Golden Rule)
Crystal Ball February 10, 2013 at 08:53 PM
Expect More from your elected officials!


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