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Marriage Equality: Rhode Island Governor Weighs In On House Bill’s Passage

by David Badash on January 24, 2013

in News

Post image for Marriage Equality: Rhode Island Governor Weighs In On House Bill’s Passage

Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee tonight weighed in on the passage of a same-sex marriage equality bill by the House of Representatives.

READ: Rhode Island House Passes Same-Sex Marriage Equality Bill

Via Twitter, above, and then via an official statement:


Statement from Governor Lincoln D. Chafee Regarding House Passage of Marriage Equality Legislation

There are certain legislative votes that can fairly be characterized as “historic.” The Rhode Island House of Representatives’ overwhelming passage of marriage equality legislation is one such vote.

I think most immediately of the pioneers of the House who have been working to achieve this goal for many years. Former state representatives such as Michael Pisaturo, who first introduced the Equal Access to Marriage Act in the mid-1990s, David Cicilline, who was the lone member of the House Judiciary Committee to vote in favor of marriage equality legislation in 2001, and Ray Sullivan. And current members such as Speaker Fox, Chairwoman Ajello, Deputy Majority Leader Ferri, and Chairman Handy, the bill’s longtime sponsor. I think also of activists such as the late Julie Pell, who certainly would have been encouraged to see this significant step forward.

Although this vote is indeed historic, there is still a long way to go. Now that the House has swiftly acted, I urge Senate leadership to “call the roll” – for our economy, for our gay and lesbian friends and neighbors, and for history.

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{ 1 comment }

LOrion January 24, 2013 at 7:59 pm

But this from the blog on KOS where House vote is reported. "Not so fast. The chair of the Rhode Island Senate's Judiciary Committee says that the bill won't even be heard until some time this spring. The chair is an adamant opponent of marriage equality, and so is the President of the Senate, Theresa Paiva-Weed.

In fact something out of 2004 just happened in the Rhode Island Senate this week:

"And just this week Paiva Weed’s powerful No. 2, Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio, co-sponsored a constitutional amendment [pdf] to ban same-sex marriage being pushed by influential Providence Sen. Frank Ciccone, another Democrat."
If it's possible at all, it will take mass action and enormous pressure to pass marriage equality through the Rhode Island Senate this year. In a state that favors it by a huge majority and in a legislature which is overwhelmingly Democratic."

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