Last Rights: Rhode Island defeats Governor Carcieri's veto of funeral planning rights for gays

Posted by JD Uy
January 6, 2010 6:17 AM |

''Not being able to claim his body was certainly something that was beyond belief, was beyond human compassion from anyone. There was just no compassion whatsoever from anyone in the state.''

Mark Goldberg, 49, explaining why he pushed for a bill to allow for the legal recognition of non-married partners when it comes to funeral planning. It is reported that Goldberg's partner, Ron Hanby, committed suicide two years ago, and despite multiple documents including wills, the state medical examiner would not release Hanby's body to his gay partner. The Rhode Island legislature just overrode a veto by Republican Governor Donald Carcieri of the bill which had passed with near-unanimous, bipartisan support. He continued his mean-spirited comments on the matter yesterday by sending out a letter that said the bill "represents a disturbing trend over the past few years of the incremental erosion of the principles surrounding traditional marriage...." The law will apply to same-sex and heterosexual couples who can prove that they are 18+, and have shared a life together for a year. (CBS)

Gov. Carcieri angered gays last October when he said marriage was not a civil right. Earlier last year, he joined the cause of the vehemently anti-gay marriage political group The National Organization for Marriage. After his veto in November, he met with members of the gay community to discuss partnerships.

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