We’ll likely look back with wonder over same-sex marriage fuss

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The Rhode Island House of Representatives, including all four with city ties, last week overwhelmingly passed a measure making the Ocean State the last in New England to allow same-sex marriage. We here at The Post applaud their courage and conviction and ask of the same from the R.I. Senate.

Regardless of how this is portrayed on the street, in the media or from the pulpit, same-sex marriage is indeed a human rights issue. It is about allowing two people the opportunity to express themselves as they wish, live their lives without any undue interference from government.

It is also about we, as a whole, living in a more tolerant society and it is akin to many of the struggles other so-called minorities have faced throughout history.

In an attempt to bring some breath and depth to the discussion, the House Judiciary Committee, from which the same-sex marriage legislation was approved, brought in numerous experts to testify on the subject. Among those was East Providence High School History Department Chairman Michael Silva, a practicing Catholic heterosexual man, who is also a city native and resident.

To paraphrase a quote attributed to Mr. Silva during his testimony, much like the children of today look back some 50 years at the struggle of African-Americans for their freedoms to live like any other citizen and ask why, so, too, will the children 50 years in the future reflect upon the debate about to allow homosexual couples to express their commitment to each other and wonder what was the big deal.

The hopefulness of Mr. Silva’s comment is that we, as Americans, as human beings, will be living in an even more tolerant society a half century from now. Here’s hoping this country, this world, does not even have to wait that long.

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Not with the same wonder we look at that 1861 fuss I hope.

Thursday, February 7, 2013 | Report this

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.