The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage on a 7 – 4 vote. A bill putting the issue up for referendum was defeated by a 6 – 5 vote.
The vote was greeted with jubilation by same sex marriage supporters gathered in a Statehouse hearing room. Supporters say they’re hopeful the committee vote signals full Senate approval. The bill will go to a full Senate vote Wednesday.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is slated to vote Tuesday on legislation that could legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. The issue has never previously come this far in the state Senate.
The 10-member Judiciary Committee plans to vote on two separate bills. One would grant marriage rights to same-sex couples through the legislature. The other one has broader religious exemptions and would make legalizing same-sex marriage subject to a statewide vote.
Providence Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin says he will not release the names of all of the priests who have been investigated for child sex abuse. Tobin was responding to a call from the group Bishopaccountability.org for greater transparency.
Another Roman Catholic priest has been sidelined by a child sexual abuse allegation. The priest has accepted responsibility for his actions.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence says Monsignor John Allard of Woonsocket has been forced to resign the pastor of St. Agatha and Precious Blood parishes because of a child sex abuse allegation that dates back more than 30 years.
The diocese says Allard accepted responsibility for his actions when confronted. He has expressed remorse for the harm he has caused and has moved out of the rectory.