Friday, November 13, 2009


Gay Funeral Rights Bill Vetoed By Rhode Island Governor

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First Posted: 11-11-09 12:31 PM | Updated: 11-11-09 02:50 PM

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Don Carcieri

AP - Gov. Don Carcieri vetoed legislation Tuesday that would give same-sex couples in Rhode Island the same right to plan the funerals of their late partners as married couples.

The socially conservative Republican said the proposed protection represents a "disturbing trend" of the incremental erosion of heterosexual marriage. Rhode Island does not recognize same-sex marriage.

"If the General Assembly believes it would like to address the issue of domestic partnership, it should place the issue on the ballot and let the people of Rhode Island decide," Carcieri said in a letter to lawmakers.

Democrats hold a veto-proof majority in the Legislature and frequently override Carcieri's objections.

Sen. Rhoda Perry and Rep. David Segal, the bill sponsors, said they would seek to override the veto. They proposed the legislation after one of their constituents was unable to retrieve the body of his late partner from the state medical examiner for weeks because they weren't married or next-of-kin.

Gay rights supporters were indignant at the veto.

"It is absolutely unconscionable that Gov. Carcieri would step in the middle of people being able to take care of their loved ones at such a sorrowful time," said Kathy Kushnir, executive director of Marriage Equality Rhode Island, which advocates for gay marriage. "Why would he make it more difficult? I just don't get it."

The proposed funeral planning rights would apply to same-sex couples who have had a relationship for at least one year and pass other tests, such as owning property together. Carcieri said some of the guidelines were vague.

This link gives the whole story, plus readers' commnts, and some news about Mormons support for gay rights in Utah!!!


J said...

Are we to infer that only married heterosexuals can make funeral arrangements in RI. Astounding. What makes this especially cruel is that you can't rectify the situation by giving your partner a power of attorney, which has no efficacy after its maker's death. I guess partner would have to be an executor, but the argument could be mounted that since RI rejected this legislation it would be inappropriate for a parter to make the arrangements even if he was the executor. I don't know how you can get around this nonsense other than by veto override.

Stew said...

Unfortunately, this is what we've been dealing with for years. They should let the people decide. Instead, we have to think ahead all the time. We have to spend extra money in advance to make sure that all legal papers are filed so that what we want is adheared to instead of what our families want.
Working in the funeral biz, I've seen where the deceased family gets all the say in everything. The partner is treated like a friend or nieghbor; put at the end of the line-up or made to sit in the back.
We need to just keep plugging away. It is getting better.

Gary Kelly said...

While ever gays insist on the right to be gay, I guess people like Don Carcieri can insist on the right to be dickheads and bigots. Hehe.

He could argue that being a dickhead and bigot is not a choice one makes in life... blame the genes. Yeah?

Yes, Justino, it's worry, I know, but you can't have a see-saw without someone at the other end.

Cest la vie.