All Five Rhode Island Republican Senators Endorse Marriage Equality

Jim Burroway

April 23rd, 2013

All five Republican Senators in Rhode Island’s 38-member state Senate have announced that they will support a bill granting marriage equality to same-sex couples:

(Minority Leader Dennis Algiere of Westerly) and Senator David Bates of Barrington plan to announce their support Tuesday morning for S 38, the bill introduced by Senator Donna Nesselbush (D-Pawtucket). The three other GOP senators – Dawson Hodgson of North Kingstown, Nicholas Kettle of Coventry, and Christopher Ottiano of Portsmouth — have already expressed their support for the Nesselbush bill. They call their support consistent with the Republican values of freedom and small government.

Algiere’s announcement is crucial. There were five announced supporters for S 38 in the ten-member Senate Judiciary Committee, and if Senate President M. Teresa Paiva-Weed (D-Newport) and Senate Majority Leader Dominick J. Ruggerio (D-Providence) exercise their right to vote against it, Algiere would cast the deciding vote. The National Organization for Marriage had been intensely lobbying for Algiere’s vote:

“I’m getting a lot of messages, about 100-plus phone calls and 100-plus emails each day. Some days, it’s been a few hundred,” he said, adding that the totals don’t tilt strongly in favor of either side.

…NOM’s lobbying effort has included a strongly worded full-page ad, headlined “Senator Algiere, We’re Counting on You!” in the April 9 edition of The Sun urging him to vote against the bill.

“It is critical that Senator Algiere cast a NO vote on SB 38. If he fails to vote for any reason, it is very likely that marriage will be lost and our marriage laws will no longer be designed to encourage children to experience the love of both a mother and a father,” the ad reads in part.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

Bose in St. Peter MN

April 23rd, 2013

Gotta love the view for folks who have donated to NOM. Their money may have gotten them a full-page ad, an in-state staffer, maybe a bus trip to DC, but it hasn’t won them a single friend in the state senate GOP.

Ouch. That won’t help future fundraising when NOM tries to unset the entire GOP senate delegation.

TomTallis

April 23rd, 2013

It’s pretty clear that these seasoned Republican politicians regard NOM as a paper tiger that can be ignored safely.

Too bad Brian Brown doesn’t show up for these votes like he did in New York, but after his performance in the visitors’ gallery in New York it’s easy to see why.

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