Bishop Warns of "Abysmal Apathy" on Gay Marriage

Providence Bishop Thomas J. Tobin is warning believers, in his latest column for Rhode Island Catholic, that same-sex marriage could soon be a reality here if the faithful keep up with their "abysmal apathy" around the issue.

Tobin pulls no punches in the piece, writing that "homosexual activity is unnatural and gravely immoral" and arguing that "those who seek to redefine marriage - with its specific characteristics - and to usurp the title 'marriage' for their morally bankrupt relationships, are committing an act of fraud." He even takes a shot at the Prez for inviting gay families to participate in this year's Easter egg hunt at the White House.

The bishop praises Governor Carcieri, Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed and House Speaker William J. Lynch for opposing same-sex marriage and calls on Catholics to get engaged in the fight. And as I noted in a cover piece on gay marriage a couple of weeks ago, the Church - however diminished - still has some clout in a legislature that is more conservative than the electorate.

But polling suggests that Rhode Island Catholics are nearly as supportive of same-sex marriage as the broader population. And that Tobin feels the need to kick his believers in the pants on the issue speaks to the growing strength of the gay marriage movement in Rhode Island.

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