Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox said Saturday that the House would vote on a gay marriage bill in January.

Fox made the pledge to a group of supporters gathered at the restaurant Blaze in Providence. He said the legislation would come up for a vote “during the third or fourth week of January.”

Fox, who is openly gay, first announced during the summer that he would call a vote next year if re-elected to his post.

“I'm calling the vote,” Fox said on WPRI's Newsmakers. “It's one of those issues that I need to come back, we need to address, and I intend if I'm elected speaker to address it early.”

“It's one of the main reasons I'm coming back,” he added. “There's unfinished business.”

The General Assembly ended its 2012 session without taking up debate on bills related to gay marriage. One such bill sought to legalize marriage equality.

Fox has come 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 President Teresa Paiva Weed and other top Democrats remained opposed.

(Source: WPRI.)