The state Senate is set to vote Wednesday on bills to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. Advocates are continuing to press their case before the vote.
Supporters were overjoyed when the Senate Judiciary Committee approved two same-sex marriage bills. The head of Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, Ray Sullivan, says advocates aren’t taking anything for granted.
“Our work is not done, we continue to work the phones, knock doors, make calls, do all the things we’ve been doing the last several months that have led us to this moment,” said Sullivan.
As the hours dwindle to tomorrow’s Senate Judiciary Committee consideration of same-sex marriage, it appears advocates of gay unions have an advantage, say State House sources. What is still unknown is what will happen when the issue hits the Senate floor, which could come as early as Wednesday, or more likely, Thursday.
What is clear this time around is that the marriage equality campaign has done a better job this time around than two years ago, when the General Assembly approved civil unions in a compromise that pleased neither side.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to hold a hearing Thursday afternoon on two competing bills to legalize same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. One key area of debate is the extent of exceptions for clergy and small businesses in recognizing same-sex marriages.
A few years back, when lawmakers in states such as Vermont and Massachusetts approved gay marriage, the political chatter was always focused on whether a vote supporting marriage equality would kill a legislative career due to a backlash against those who approved gay unions.
Those who supported gay marriage in legislatures were rarely ousted from office for their votes.