Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee
was the headline speaker as a new coalition to legalize gay marriage
in the state got underway.
At Monday's press conference for Rhode
Islanders United for Marriage, Chafee reiterated his support for
“I urge the leaders of our Assembly
to call the roll,” he said. “Call the roll for our economy.
Call the roll for our gay and lesbian friends and neighbors. Call
the roll for the memory of [Rhode Island co-founder] Roger Williams.
Call the roll for history.” (The video is embedded on this page.
our video library for more videos.)
Bills seeking to make Rhode Island the
10th state to legalize marriage equality were introduced
in both houses earlier this month.
The Rhode Island House on Tuesday is
expected to hold a hearing on the proposed legislation, setting up a
potential vote in the chamber before month's end. Previous hearings
on the issue went long into the night and attracted hundreds of
Also speaking at Monday's kick-off
event were Rev. Donald Anderson, executive minister of Rhode Island
State Council of Churches, Rev. Gene Dyszlewski, chair of the Rhode
Island Religious Coalition for Marriage Equality and George Nee,
president of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO.