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Rhode Island marriage bill introduced

Timothy Kincaid

January 6th, 2011

A bill to enact marriage equality in the State of Rhode Island was introduced today in both the House and Senate. (Providence Journal)

In the House, Rep. Arthur Handy, D-Cranston introduced his annual bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. The 29 lawmakers co-signing the bill include House Speaker Gordon D. Fox.

As she introduced similar legislation in the Senate, Sen. Rhoda Perry, D-Providence, said she hoped it would get a hearing and vote early in the legislative session.

A mirror of Handy’s bill, it legalizes “civil marriage” between people of the same gender to marry, while specifying that no religious institution would be required to marry same-sex couples if that would go against their teachings.

As the House speaker is gay and the governor called for marriage equality in his inaugural address, there is hope that this bill will have adequate support for success. The Senate Majority Leader is opposed to marriage equality, but she has stated that she will not stand in the bill’s way.

The Republican minority has pledged to support civil unions but any legislation allowing the term “marriage” to apply to same-sex unions should be put before the people as a referendum.

Comments

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Ryan
January 6th, 2011 | LINK

Cool. New Hamshire will likely repeal their marriage equality bill sometime this year, so at least this will be good news to balance that out.

Stefan
January 6th, 2011 | LINK

Actually there is a good chance a repeal of gay marriage in New Hampshire won’t even be brought to a vote this session, according to the Republican Senate majority leader. Even if it did, there are still 26 Republicans who voted against repeal last year in office, and I’m sure the number of anti-repeal Republicans has grown significantly too.

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