Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence wants Rhode Island lawmakers to defeat a proposal that would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions.
A house committee advanced the proposal Tuesday and it is expected to receive a vote in the full house today. Senate president Teresa Paiva-Weed, who opposed a marriage equality bill, supports civil unions and has said that she believes her chamber would approve the measure.
However, according to the Associated Press, "Bishop Thomas J. Tobin released a statement Wednesday saying that civil unions are objectionable because they are a gateway to gay marriage."
The antigay National Organization for Marriage also opposes the civil unions bill, as do many leading marriage equality advocates. House speaker Gordon Fox, who is gay, announced his support for civil unions last month, acknowledging it was a compromise because not enough support existed for the legislature for the marriage equality bill.