Saturday, February 18, 2012

Why all the fuss about Marriage?

The term marriage broadly means a blending of two separate entities into one. The difficulty we are having with the term marriage might be from the biblical interpretation - that the only acceptable reason for marriage is procreation, therefore only two individuals of the opposite sex should be allowed to marry. Since it makes an exception for heterosexual couples who are sterile, it blatantly discriminates against gay people.

Perhaps we could resolve this by recognizing two marriages. The first, a Civil Marriage, currently referred to as a civil union. This marriage would be available to any two unmarried individuals. The second, a Religious Marriage, performed by a priest, minister, rabbi or imam. In this marriage the religious institution would determine the requirements according to its precepts and beliefs.

Religious and Civil Marriages would be legally identical in every way except for where and by whom the marriage service was performed. Perhaps in this way we can respect the feelings and beliefs of both sides of this controversy.

But maybe it's just me.

Friday, February 3, 2012

So You Don't Like Change?

I've been advocating a change in the Rhode Island Property Tax laws for ten years. (see One aspect of that change deals with tax exempt property. We propose a method that would have helped Providence and other towns with a significant proportion of tax exempt property.

Using the numbers printed in "A FISCAL CRISIS" on Page 1 of the Journal, February 3, 2012, with the proposal of R.I.G.H.T., the city of Providence would receive $40 million from tax "exempt" properties. Would that help?

If state legislators had at least discussed some of the proposals of R.I.G.H.T. we might never have reached this awful situation in which we find ourselves. But, as a town official once said to me after I presented our plan, "I don't like change". See where that has gotten us.