MERI Un-endorses Caprio

Caprio’s officially, completely, one hundred percent, out of control.

No games with civil rights. No second class citizens.
Marriage Equality Rhode Island PAC (MERI PAC) is forced to revoke its endorsement of Frank Caprio (D) in the gubernatorial race after his statement last night at the League of Women Voters debate, and his Facebook post today, saying that he favors putting the question of equal civil marriage rights on the ballot.

“We are completely opposed to any ballot initiative,” said Patrick Smock, chair of MERI PAC. “History is clear. The question of civil rights for a minority group should never be placed in the hands of the majority, who already enjoy all those rights, privileges and protections.”

“This is the first time we have heard Mr. Caprio take this position and we are shocked,” Smock said.

Caprio went on to say that if a marriage equality bill passed the legislature, he would sign it into law.

“Favoring a ballot initiative and supporting the legislative process are two completely different positions,” Smock said. “Mr. Caprio can’t have it both ways. The road to equality for all Rhode Islanders is through the legislative process, with the unqualified support of our governor. LGBT Rhode Islanders deserve their governor’s full support.”

“If Mr. Caprio becomes our governor, we will work to convince him that his duty is the equal treatment of all the citizens of our great state,” Smock said.
MERI PAC endorses gubernatorial candidates who support all Rhode Island families equally.

The endorsed candidates for governor, who do not qualify their support for equal rights, are:

Kenneth Block, Moderate
Lincoln Chafee, Independent
Todd Giroux, Independent.

A poll, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research from July 7 to12, surveyed 502 likely voters in Rhode Island and showed that 59 percent support allowing same-sex couples to legally marry in the state. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percent.

Among the poll’s major findings:

  • The new pro-equality majority is demographically diverse. It includes Catholics (57 percent), women over 50 (56 percent), independent voters (58 percent) and parents (64 percent).
  • Support increases further with First Amendment reassurance. When told that marriage equality would not infringe on a church’s right to marry whom they choose, support increases to 66 percent overall and 63 percent among Catholics.
  • Politically, this is a net positive vote for state lawmakers. When asked about how a vote for equality would impact their support for a candidate, 27 percent say they would be more inclined to support a candidate, 24 percent are less inclined, and nearly half (46 percent) say it would make no difference. Just 13 percent are much less likely to support a pro-equality candidate.
  • In Rhode Island, the LGBT community is the mainstream. Overall, 79 percent of voters here know a gay or lesbian person and 45 percent describe their feeling toward gay and lesbian people as favorable, while just 18 percent are critical. Seventy-five percent believe “homosexuality is a way of life that should be accepted by society.”

2 thoughts on “MERI Un-endorses Caprio”

  1. First MERI cites polls that supposedly say that Rhode Islanders support so-called gay marriage. Then they unendorse a candidate who supports putting the issue to a vote. Perhaps they know that every state that has put this on the ballot has supported traditional marriage and that the polls don’t tell the whole story. This is why i’m voting for Robitalle.

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