Rhode Island, USA: Full Senate Vote Expected Today on Marriage Equality Bill

Written by scott on April 24th, 2013

What was looking like an iffy proposition as recently as yesterday morning now looks like much more of a sure thing, after the entire Republican caucus in the Rhode Island Senate came out in support of marriage equality. LGBTQ Nation reports:

Support for the bill has grown since it passed the House in January. On Tuesday, the Senate’s five Republicans announced they would all support the legislation, further improving the bill’s chances. “We’ve got one more step, but I expect it to pass with overwhelming support,” said Sen. Dawson Hodgson (R-North Kingstown). Opponents aren’t giving up on efforts to turn back the legislation. Sen. Harold Metts (D-Providence), said he planned to fast and pray ahead of Wednesday’s debate.

Rhode Island Senate president Teresa Paiva WeedEdge Boston has a profile of the Senate leader, Teresa Paiva Weed, a Democrat. Although Weed remains a staunch opponent of marriage equality, she has at least stepped out of the way to let the marriage quality debate take its course:

If Rhode Island joins the rest of New England in allowing gay and lesbian couples to wed, it will be because a formidable opponent, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, moved out of the way. The state’s first female Senate leader, Paiva Weed has long been the most visible obstacle to gay marriage in Rhode Island. Those behind an aggressive campaign to pass marriage legislation this year worried she would let the bill languish in committee or kick the question to the voters as a ballot referendum. Instead, she vowed to let the debate take its course, and on Wednesday the Senate is expected to take a landmark vote on whether to join nine other states and Washington, D.C., in allowing gays and lesbians to wed. Paiva Weed said that despite her opposition, the question of gay marriage is too important to bottle up.

While we vehemently disagree with her stance on marriage equality, we do give the Senate leader some credit for not standing in the way of progress any longer.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Rhode Island.


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