What's Next for Same-Sex Marriage in Rhode Island? - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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What's Next for Same-Sex Marriage in Rhode Island?

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by Mark Curtis, ABC6 Chief Political Reporter 

mcurtis@abc6.com 

It was a wild celebration in the Rhode Island House when the gay marriage bill was approved last night by a wide margin.

But the happy mood may be short lived.

Opponents are looking at ways to try to stop the bill in the Senate.

Supporters think it has a chance to pass, but only if a vote is scheduled and there's no guarantee of that.

And there seems to be no agreement on whether a ballot initiative letting voters decide is a better option.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis asked House Speaker Gordon Fox, "But if it comes to a referendum, you're okay with that?" Fox said, "No I've stated previously and I will state it again. It's a civil rights issue and I don't think civil rights issues are appropriate for the ballot. I don't support putting it on the ballot."

Chris Plante from The National Organization for Marriage thinks a ballot initiative is a good idea, saying, "We've voted on casinos, ports, changing the name of the state. How much more important is marriage to society and the people of this state. So the people should have the right to vote on that."

State Rep. Doreen Costa (R-RI) said, "But it's time for this to be done with, because we have so much to focus on. Jobs, the economy, business regulations."

Now that last comment by Representative Costa may be very telling.

That's because Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed is very focused on economic development and job creation as the top Senate priorities, and a lot of people think that's as it should be.

We are hearing that it could be weeks...if not months before same sex marriage comes up in the upper chamber, if at all.

 

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