A Rhode Island House committee approved the revised marriage equality bill sent to it from the Senate. The bill now goes to the full house on Thursday. LGBTQ Nation reports:
There was little testimony at Tuesday’s brief hearing in the House Judiciary Committee — a big departure from the hours-long hearings earlier this year and in previous years that attracted hundreds of people on both sides of the debate. With the bill all but passed, most opponents stayed away. Testimony focused on the changes made to the bill by the Senate. The bill that passed the House stated that religious institutions may set their own rules regarding who is eligible to marry within the faith and specifies that no religious leader is obligated to officiate at any marriage ceremony. The Senate added language to ensure that groups like the Knights of Columbus aren’t legally obligated to provide facilities for same-sex weddings. Supporters said they could live with the changes.
Gov. Chafee is so confident that the bill will pass on Thursday that he is already set up a signing ceremony for Thursday evening. Towleroad reports:
Rhode Island’s marriage equality law will be signed on Thursday afternoon on the south steps of the State House, Governor Lincoln Chafee announced yesterday.
Gov. Chafee’s tweet reads “in anticipation of RI House approval, Gov. Chafee announces #MarriageEquality signing ceremony 5:45PM Thursday, Statehouse steps #RI4M”
Congratulations to all again lesbian couples in Rhode Island – the new law will take effect on August 1st.