By: Robin Murray-o'hair Re: Gay Rights/Religion GAY RIGHTS BILL PASSES DESPITE RELIGIOUS P

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By: Robin Murray-o'hair Re: Gay Rights/Religion GAY RIGHTS BILL PASSES DESPITE RELIGIOUS PRESSURE by Conrad Goeringer Groups like the Christian Coalition have another fight on their hands, this time in Rhode Island. On May 19, the state senate extended civil-rights guarantees to homosexuals after extensive lobbying and testimony from numerous gay and human rights groups; the measure bars discrimination against gays in employment, housing, public accommodations and credit. The legislation into law makes Rhode Island the ninth state to extend civil rights to gay men and women, and the first to do so in the past two years. The vote in the Senate was 26 to 21. The bill was opposed by such groups as the Coalition to Preserve Traditional Values, which said that the legislation would "have the effect of trampling under foot the religious rights of the individual to make choices of conscience concerning homosexuality." The Roman Catholic church also opposed the measure, Bishop Louis Gelineau saying that the bill may have condoned or promoted homosexual behavior. ----------------------------------------------------------- THEISTWATCH An educational service provided by American Atheists, P O Box 140195, Austin, TX 78714-0195. For information on American Atheists, e-mail: info@atheist.org. * WCE 2.0/2394 * American Atheists, P O Box 2117, Austin, TX 78768

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