State House hearings on same sex marriage can be a pretty surreal scene; about half of the people will testify about equal rights under the law and the other half will testify about what it says in the Bible.
Seriously, this isn’t hyperbole. This is really how these things go down. Last year, Chris Young said marriage equality was a secret plot by communists to end capitalist procreation and Rev. Jay Stirnemann, a Pentecostal priest from Tiverton, warned that we would invite “God’s judgement” by allowing for equal relationship laws.
The year before that, Pat Baker testified that she had terminal cancer and wanted to legally marry her longtime partner before she died. Stirnemann testified that year too. Watch this video from the 2011 debate over civil unions at the House Judiciary Committee:
Baker died before marriage equality become law in Rhode Island. She won’t be able to testify again this year.
But rest assured Rev. Stirnemann will be there again today to testify about what he thinks it says in the Bible. That’s why it’s so important that progressives are there to testify about equal protection under the law.