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What Same-Sex Marriage Means For Portsmouth's Wedding Business

One Portsmouth wedding location sees the legalization of same-sex marriage in Rhode Island as a boost for business.

Rhode Island now remains the only state in New England that forbids same-sex marriage, but that soon could change if the General Assembly votes to approve new legislation. 

On Thursday, legislation to allow same-gender couples to marry in Rhode Island was introduced in both the Rhode Island House and Senate, with a pledge from House Speaker Gordon Fox for a floor vote early in the session. Fox, the first co-sponsor of the House bill, is openly gay. 

The legislation has broad support, with 42 members of the House signing on as sponsors and 11 members of the Senate.

“We are long overdue. Rhode Island, the colony founded on the principle of personal liberty, is now the only New England state that doesn’t allow same-gender couples equal marriage," said Rep. Arthur Handy (D-Dist. 18, Cranston), the lead sponsor in the House who has introduced the bill annually for over a decade. "Rhode Islanders recognize that same-gender couples deserve the rights and responsibilities that other couples already enjoy, and support has been getting wider every year."

The legislation is not only gaining support from proponents of civil rights, but also those in the wedding business. 

"Having it legalized, I think it will bring in more business and there's new publications you can advertise in. I'm sure it will help increase business," said Katie Wilkinson, event manager for the Glen Manor House, a location which hosts weddings throughout the year in Portsmouth. 

"It's definitely an increase of business we could see. We have done several commitment services before." 

Rhode Island passed a law in 2011 allowing civil unions for same-gender couples as a compromise measure, but relatively few have taken advantage of it, and many have criticized civil unions as a less-than-equal offering to same-gender couples.

What do you think about allowing same-sex couples to marry in Rhode Island? Will it result in a economic boost for small business? Tell us in the comment section below. 

Dan Johnson February 26, 2013 at 03:34 PM
"Unfortunately, many people are not aware of the three decades of research showing that children of gay or lesbian parents are just as mentally healthy as children with heterosexual parents, notes Cerbone. Children of gay and lesbian parents reported closer ties with their schools and classmates. Patterson's and others' findings that good parenting, not a parent's sexual orientation, leads to mentally healthy children may not surprise many psychologists. What may be more surprising is the finding that children of same-sex couples seem to be thriving, though they live in a world that is often unaccepting of their parents." http://www.apa.org/monitor/dec05/kids.aspx
Dan Johnson February 26, 2013 at 03:40 PM
Testimony from the Hawaii supreme court trial: Dr Eggebeen (witness against marriage equality) also conceded that "gay and lesbian couples can , and do, make excellent parents" "that they are capable of raising a healthy child", and "that children of same sex couples would be helped if their families had access to or were able to receive benefits of marriage". Dr. Charlotte Patterson: there was "no data or research which establishes that gay fathers and lesbian mothers are less capable of being good parents than non-gay people. Dr. David Brodzinsky: The issue is not the structural variable, biological versus nonbiological, one parent versus two parent. The issue is really the process variables, how children are cared for, is the child provided warmth, it the child provided consistency of care, is the child provided a stimulated environment, is the e child given support.... and when you take a look at structural variables, there's not all that much support that structural variable in and of themselves are all that important. Dr. Pepper Shwartz: "the primary quality of parenting is not the parenting structure, or biology, but is the nurturing relationship between parent and child."
Dan Johnson February 26, 2013 at 03:48 PM
I agree. However I would point out, Murphy Brown was a single parent, not a couple. Two are better than one if they are nurturing rather than abusive. While many opposite sex parents are not motivated to be parents and have unwanted, unplanned babies, same sex couples must be motivated to have children whether through assistance or adoption. Same sex couples who decide to have children are always motivated, while opposite sex couples are not always motivated.
Dan Johnson February 26, 2013 at 03:58 PM
"The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies." ( American Anthropological Association)
Dan Johnson February 26, 2013 at 04:04 PM
"There were very few group differences between the kids who had been brought up by same- or opposite-sex parents," says Patterson, who conducted the research with students Jennifer Wainright and Stephen Russell, PhD, now an associate professor of sociology at the University of Arizona. One group difference that Patterson was surprised to find: Children of gay and lesbian parents reported closer ties with their schools and classmates. Patterson's study debunks the myth that children of gay or lesbian parents have trouble developing romantic relationships due to a missing father- or mother-figure-a concern that judges making custody rulings have cited. Equal numbers of teenagers from each group reported that they had been in a romantic relationship in the previous 18 months. Participants from the two groups did not differ in grade point average, symptoms of depression or self-esteem. While the sexual orientation of the parents in Patterson's study did not predict the adolescents' social adjustment, the quality of the parent-child relationship did. Children who reported warm relationships with their parents tended to be the most mentally healthy and have the fewest problems in school." http://www.apa.org/monitor/dec05/kids.aspx

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