PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence is urging Rhode Island lawmakers to reject a compromise proposal establishing civil unions for gay couples, calling them a "stepping stone" to gay marriage.
The comments came in an editorial in the diocese's newspaper. They follow state House Speaker Gordon Fox's decision to stop pushing for gay marriage and offer civil unions as an alternative.
The editorial said civil unions undermine the unique marriage relationship between a man and a woman by making it equal to same-sex relationships. It said recent history shows civil unions are often followed by legalized gay marriage.
The pro-gay marriage advocate Marriage Equality Rhode Island also opposes civil unions, saying they treat gays as second-class citizens. A spokesman called on Fox to allow a vote on gay marriage and said he believed lawmakers would approve it.
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