Update: In an interview with Rhode Island Public Radio, RI state Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, D-Newport, said she does not support Bishop Thomas Tobin's call to resists the U.S. Supreme Court gay marriage decision. Paiva Weed is a practicing Catholic and was an opponent of the 2013 measure that legalized same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. But in a taping for RIPR's political roundtable that will air tomorrow morning, the Senate president said the U.S. Constitution must be obeyed.
A lawyer, Paiva Weed said, ``I certainly would not join in that (Tobin's call for resistance) call.''
Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence is encouraging same-sex marriage opponents to engage in "conscientious objection’’ to gay unions in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized such marriages in all 50 states.
``A county clerk in Hood, Texas isn’t going to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples because, she said, she has rights too. ``I will not be issuing same sex marriage licenses due to my religious convictions,’’ Katie Lang wrote. Lang said that the Constitution guarantees her freedom of religion too.
In a social media posting, Tobin praised her. ``Congratulations to Ms. Lang for her courageous stand. We need many more conscientious objectors – public officials, private businesses, advertisers, religious leaders and family members – people of courage who will abide by their conscience, protect their religious rights, and not support or enable the furtherance of this moral aberration –so-called same sex marriage.’’
Said Tobin in a statement, ``Catholics, and other citizens of goodwill, should oppose this misdirected innovation and steadfastly proclaim the unchanging truth about marriage as we have received it from God.’’
The Bishop, of course, is entitled to his view, but one has to wonder how a democratic society can function if public officials, such as municipal clerks, can decide which laws they want to obey.