On the day of the same-sex marriage vote in the Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee, all the members of the Senate Republican caucus have endorsed same-sex marriage.
"Our Senate Republican Caucus is deeply committed to the values of freedom, liberty and limited government. In accordance with those values, we believe that freedom means freedom for everyone, and that every citizen of Rhode Island deserves the freedom to marry the person they love," said the committee in a statement. The committed includes Senators Dennis Algiere, David Bates, Dawson Hodgson, Nicholas Kettle, and Chris Ottiano.
The statement continued:
"We support Senate Bill 38 because it rightfully extends the civil aspects of marriage to all Rhode Islanders while protecting the freedom of religion our state was founded upon. Gay and lesbian couples deserve to be treated equally under the law, and at the same time churches, synagogues and mosques in our state must be free to exercise their faith and their sacraments as they see fit. This bill strikes the right balance and should be passed by the Senate.
We recognize that there is a national consensus building on this generational issue, and we are glad that support for the freedom to marry is growing within the Republican Party. Today we join the 209 other Republican state legislators across America who have stood up for the freedom to marry. As a united Senate Republican Caucus, we are proud to add our voices to reaffirm the principles of freedom and equality under the law."
At the news of the announced support Rhode Islanders for Marriage Equality complemented the caucus for their support.
"We are proud and humbled to have earned the support of the entire Senate Republican caucus for Senator Nesselbush's legislation. We applaud their courage and their conviction in standing up for all loving, committed couples and their freedom to marry," said Ray Sullivan, Rhode Islanders United for Marriage campaign director. "That this is the first legislative caucus of either party to unanimously support marriage equality is a testament to the bravery and strength of character of these five senators. We thank them for their support, and look forward to their voting in favor of S38."