Rhode Island Senate President Teresa
Paiva Weed has said she anticipates a Senate committee vote on a gay
marriage bill in the upcoming legislative session.
According to the AP, Weed has not
changed her opposition to marriage equality but believes the Senate
Judiciary Committee will take up the issue.
Lawmakers adjourned this year without
taking action on several bills related to marriage equality.
House Speaker Gordon Fox, a Providence
Democrat who is openly gay, said the issue was “one of the main
reasons I'm coming back. There's unfinished business.”
Fox came under
heavy criticism from gay marriage advocates for abandoning efforts
last year to approve a marriage equality bill in favor of civil
unions. Fox explained at the time that the marriage bill was doomed
in the Senate because Weed and other top Democrats in the chamber
“My position has not changed,” Weed
told the AP this week. “I do anticipate a vote in the Senate
Rhode Island is the only New England
state where gay couples may not marry. However, under an executive
order signed by Governor Lincoln Chafee, the state recognizes the
marriages of gay and lesbian couples performed elsewhere.