The nation’s first openly gay House Speaker, who serves in the State of Rhode Island, has angered many advocates of same-sex marriage by backing legislation that would legalize civil unions for homosexual couples.
Late last month, Gordon Fox (D-Providence) pledged his support for a law that would allow civil unions for gay citizens. His decision has triggered protests from gay-rights groups that believe Fox has turned his back on many of his supporters.
“In my opinion, he’s a self-loathing homophobe,” Gary D’Amario, who recently attended a rally at the Rhode Island State House, told The Associated Press.
Fox has defended his actions, saying that many people do not understand the political process. He told the news provider that the civil unions bill is a calculated measure that, if approved, will be a step in the right direction for gay couples.
Meanwhile, the National Organization for Marriage’s Rhode Island chapter has slammed the bill, calling it “an engraved invitation for the court to mandate same-sex marriage,” The Providence Journal reported. The group claims that the legislation does not properly define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, and it provides a divorce mechanism for gay couples that is similar to marriage.