Catholic bishop criticizes R.I. attorney general on gay marriage

AP Wire

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The spiritual leader of the nation's most heavily Roman Catholic state sharply criticized Attorney General Patrick Lynch on Thursday for urging Rhode Island to recognize same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts.

"It is clear that the attorney general's thinking on this issue has been influenced by the relentless gay agenda so prevalent in our state," Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin said in a written statement.

Lynch released his opinion this week, and it answered a question posed to him by authorities at the Board of Governors for Higher Education. Board officials wanted to know whether they should recognize the unions of several gay employees who were married in Massachusetts, the only state were such unions are legal.

The attorney general's decision was publicly announced on Ash Wednesday, which starts a period of prayer and self-examination known as Lent in the Catholic church and other Christian denominations.

"His decision has given us another reason to repent of our sins and pray for forgiveness," Tobin said.

A spokesman for Lynch did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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