by Mark Curtis, ABC6 Chief Political Reporter
Hundreds of opponents of same sex marriage rallied in the Statehouse rotunda, led by clergy members who say gay marriage is wrong.
Rev. Darrell Lee, a gay marriage opponent said, "This has to be stopped, before Pandora's Box of societal decline, begins to happen in Rhode Island."
Hundreds more lined up outside the Committee room, many hoping to testify.
Bilma Delcompare, an opponent of same sex marriage said, "Because God established a man and a woman, only."
Luis Hernandez, another opponent of gay marriage said, "It's should be defined man and woman. Man and woman."
At its peak, one police officer estimated the hall way crowd at one thousand people.
ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "The large numbers of people who turned out here in opposition, are probably a strong indicator of why supporters of same gender marriage want to see this done by the General Assembly, and not by voters in a ballot initiative."
Once the House Judiciary Committee got underway, members heard from both sides.
Tony and Silvia Deluca testified on behalf of the lesbian daughter who legally married in Massachusetts.
Tony Deluca, a gay marriage supporter said, "We want equal protection equal protection under the law, and we want full civil rights for her and her spouse."
And despite the religious leaders against, other clergy came to support same sex marriage.
Rev. Gene Dyszlewski, a gay marriage proponent said, "I come from the religious position where I believe that same sex marriage is in fact, part of God's plan."
While the Committee heard testimony, it has not yet scheduled a vote.