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RI bishop blasts leaders for pushing gay marriage

January 8, 2011

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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence is criticizing Gov. Lincoln Chafee and lawmakers for pushing legislation to legalize gay marriage.

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin's comments Friday came a day after bills to legalize gay marriage were introduced in the General Assembly.

In a statement, Tobin said gay marriage was "morally wrong" and it was disturbing that Chafee had made such a divisive issue one of his first priorities, instead of economic concerns.

A Chafee adviser said allowing gay couples to marry was an economic issue because it could attract top talent to the state -- especially gay and lesbian professionals.

House Speaker Gordon Fox, who is gay, said the debate on gay marriage won't be rushed, but lawmakers need to have it at some point and this is the right time.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.projo.com/