A series of 9 videos produced by the
Providence Journal documents Rhode Island's long journey to
becoming the 10th state to legalize gay marriage.
Passage of a marriage equality bill
cleared the Rhode Island Senate on Wednesday, three months after
clearing the House. Gay and lesbian couples might get the right to
marry as early as August 1.
state to legalize gay marriage.)
But the journey has been long.
Democratic Senator Donna Nesselbush,
the bill's champion in the Senate, told colleagues before calling the
vote: “Today's vote culminates nearly a half century of struggle by
the gay community.”
One video from the series takes a look
at the 2010 civil unions compromise brokered by House Speaker Gordon
Fox. Marriage advocates did not support his decision to push civil
unions as a compromise.
“We're here today in response to
speaker Fox and his comment that he put out to the press today that
he would encourage the House to not vote on the marriage equality
bill and he will instead push civil unions in the state of Rhode
Island for this legislative session,” Kyle Marnane of Rhode Island
Students for Equality says during a visit to the Assembly. “And we
are asking Speaker Fox to live up to his word that he will let the
House vote on the marriage equality bill during this session.”
Later, Fox is seen confronting the
“I'm the speaker of the House, I'm an
openly gay man, so this is very emotional for me,” Fox tells the
activists. “But I understand as the speaker of the House counting
votes what I can deliver to all of us. And I think that I'm
delivering rights to us today.”
“And I'm not saying that this is
equal to marriage,” he adds. (The video is embedded on this page.
our video library for more videos.)
videos in the series include Chafee's civil unions signing
ceremony and last week's historic passage in the Senate.