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Steve Ahlquist is an award-winning journalist, writer, artist and founding member of the Humanists of Rhode Island, a non-profit group dedicated to reason, compassion, optimism, courage and action. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of any organization of which he is a member.

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"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” - Elie Weisel

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

"There comes a time when neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you’re not in revolt, you’re in cahoots. When this period and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will look away in shame." - David Brooks

15 responses to “Metts Opposes Marriage Equality On ‘Biblical Principles’”

  1. Nancy Green

    The first time I saw Sen. Harold Metts wave a Bible at a hearing on marriage equality I was deeply discouraged. In using his office to favor his own religion he is breaking faith with his responsibility to represent all his constituents fairly and impartially.
    If he wants to dedicate himself to using any and all means to advance Christianity, he could serve as an honest minister rather than a biased politician.
    And if Sen. Lombardi wants to wear a frock, either when he’s relaxing at home or going out in public, the Catholic church is looking for a few good men to enter the priesthood. I’ve heard that marriage is not an absolute bar to men who find their vocation later in life.
    There’s potential for conflict down the line if these two politicians get what they want in subverting the State to the goals of the Church.
    Which Church? Papists vs Heretics. We’ve been there before.

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  2. skwerl

    Those whose religious views prevent them from properly serving the public should not be public servants.

    I laughed when Senator Metts said he could change his religious preference if he wanted to. Maybe that’s why he’s so homophobic.


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    1. DogDiesel

      Am I the only one that has a problem with this comment? I don’t like anything about Metts but aren’t we crossing the line here?

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    2. Bob Plain

      It’s been edited … Let’s all try to keep the debate fair, respectful and above the belt.


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      1. turbo

        “and above the belt.”  I see what you did there!

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      2. DogDiesel


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  3. leftyrite

    Love the picture!

    One man seems as if he’s spyed his first breath mint.

    The other bloke has just discovered fire.  

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  4. ml87

    From my recollection of Senator Mett’s record, he is progressive on most issues.  I think it’s great that you disagree with him on this particular issue but you’ve made the guy look like he is some terrible person.  He is a religious man, so be it.  People are going to be influenced by whatever religious or non-religious background they have but that doesn’t make them unfit for public service.  I disagree with Metts on this issue but I can’t get over the fact like it is all or nothing for some of you folks. 

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  5. Len Katzman

    Steve, you wrote, “I wonder if Metts would have thought it appropriate to read from his holy book if someone declared their Jewish or other non-Christian beliefs?”
    In 2009 I again was testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. I prefaced my remarks by stating why I was testifying on an issue that did not effect me personally.  I stated plainly that I am a Jewish man and that history teaches us Jews that after the government is done going after the gays, they come after the Jews. I noted that my grandfather was one of seven brothers who were all murdered by their government because they were Jewish. I stated plainly that while I don’t fear gay people, I fear my government when it tries to write their religion into our secular laws.
    Senator Metts responded to my testimony by holding up his bible and stating, “I will not apologize for standing by the word of Jesus Christ.”
    Every Jewish person to whom I have related this event agrees: to Jewish people that remark of Senator Metts was profoundly offensive and frankly anti-Semitic. One commenter above wrote that he doesn’t think Senator Metts is a terrible person. That may be true. But, he is clearly capable of saying terrible things.

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  6. Leonard

    Kudos to Steve Ahlquist for his accurate portrayal of Sen. Metts. I abhor religion mixed with government and Metts is a shining example why. His Bible thumping is the triumph of a horrid logic confirmed by history, now the gays, soon the Asians, women’s control of their bodies and much else, perhaps denial of the Holocaust.
    Metts can say what he likes, no one has to agree with him. As an elected representative of all the people in his district, he doesn’t represent all, he represents a disturbing point of view best left to the private citizen.
    Thanks, Steve,  for the first class journalism! Truth is stranger than fiction, no one could invent a character like Metts.

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  7. BCHall

         Thank you very much for this thorough and civil piece.
         I am a constituent of Sen. Metts, and a strong supporter of equal marriage rights.  I have spoken to Sen. Metts personally about this.  I do want to echo the point that from my perspective, Sen. Metts is terrific on so many other issues.  I value the service he has done for my district.  However, I also completely agree that his religious views are not appropriate justification for his position on the issue of marriage equality, and I would have voted for a candidate who could match Metts’ good record with the important difference of supporting the civil right to marry for all.  I hope that this question will be moot by the next election, but I also hope that an alternate candidate will emerge.  In his recent testimony, Sen. Metts seems, unfortunately, to have demonstrated that he is no longer worthy of the public trust that comes with his office.

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  8. PinkHatLib

    “Reading, reflection and time have convinced me that the interests of society require the observation of those moral precepts only in which all religions agree (for all forbid us to murder, steal, plunder, or bear false witness), and that we should not intermeddle with the particular dogmas in which all religions differ, and which are totally unconnected with morality.”
    –Thomas Jefferson to James Fishback, 1809.

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