The Catholic Church's opposition to civil unions, reaffirmed in a new editorial in the Rhode Island Catholic newspaper, presents Catholic lawmakers with a quandary around whether to endorse the civil unions push on Smith Hill.
But they are not the only lawmakers with a difficult choice to make. Strong supporters of same-sex marriage, who are hoping to keep the gay nuptials bill alive, also have a choice to make if it comes down to civil unions or nothing this session: embrace what could amount to a stepping stone to gay marriage or reject what many in the movement consider an unacceptable compromise.
Most observers expect civil unions to get through. Many of the moderate legislators who balked at same-sex marriage have pledged support for civil unions. And some number of same-sex marriage supporters are expected to back civil unions.
But the civil unions fight will come with its own share of anguish.