A Rhode Island bill which seeks to make
the state the 10th to legalize gay marriage faces its
first vote on Tuesday.
The House Judiciary Committee is
expected to approve the legislation and send it the full House, which
could vote on the bill possibly as early as this week.
House Speaker Gordon Fox has previously
said he would like to call a vote on the bill before the end of the
The committee vote follows a hearing on
the issue which attracted hundreds to the State House. More than 300
people signed up, but many did not speak.
Outside the hearing, opponents chanted
“Let the people vote” and prayed under the State House dome.
testify before Rhode Island House panel considering gay marriage
Rhode Island is the only New England
state which does not allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. Two
years ago, lawmakers approved civil unions for gay couples.
While passage in the House looks bright
and Governor Lincoln Chafee has endorsed the effort, doubts remain in
the Senate, where Democratic leaders remain opposed.