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Same-sex marriage called ‘immoral’ by R.I. bishop

PROVIDENCE — The leader of Rhode Island’s Roman Catholic Diocese on Monday urged state lawmakers to drop legislation to legalize same-sex marriage, which he called ‘‘immoral and unnecessary.’’

Bishop Thomas Tobin ­released a statement saying that while ‘‘individuals with same-sex attraction’’ are invited to be members of the Catholic Church, the church cannot support gay marriage.

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‘‘The proposal to legalize ‘same-sex marriage’ in the state of Rhode Island is immoral and unnecessary,’’ Tobin said.

Tobin said lawmakers should wait for the US ­Supreme Court to take up challenges to the federal law that defines marriage as being ­between a man and a woman. He added that if the state must consider gay marriage, it should go before voters as a referendum.

A coalition of more than 100 leaders from other religious groups issued a statement Monday supporting the legislation.

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