Change happens slowly in politics. Except when it doesn’t. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay explains the forces behind Rhode Island’s reversal on gay marriage.
The Ocean State is poised to become the 10th state in the nation to recognize same sex marriages and join our five New England neighbors in the vanguard of the movement for equal treatment for our gay citizens.
Ray Sullivan, the head of Rhode Islanders United for Marriage, joins the Roundtable this week to discuss the state Senate vote in favor of same-sex marriage; concerns about the impact on religious institutions; how the battle was won, and other issues.
The gallery of the Senate erupted in cheers when the chamber voted by a margin of two-to-one to legalize same sex marriages. The House overwhelmingly approved the same legislation in January. Senate bill sponsor Donna Nesselbush of Pawtucket who is openly gay called it an issue of historic importance.
"To each and every senator in this room," Nesselbush said, "the eyes of the nation are upon us and we are poised to become the 10th state in the nation to join the force for equality that is sweeping our great nation."
Rhode Island is on track to become the 10th state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriages. The state Senate has overwhelmingly approved two nearly identical bills that would legalize such unions. The bill could go to the governor for his signature as early as next week.