Support for gay marriage in the Rhode Island General Assembly increased on Tuesday with the election of several new members.

Democrats picked up two seats in the House and three in the Senate, increasing their majorities in both chambers.

Lawmakers last year scrapped a marriage bill for civil unions over the loud objections of many gay rights activists. House Speaker Gordon Fox said he reversed direction due in part to the strong objections on the issue by Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed.

Democrats on Thursday unanimously elected Weed to another term as president. House Democrats plan to meet Friday to nominate Fox for a second term.

Fox said as recently as last weekend that the House would vote on a marriage bill in January.

Ray Sullivan, campaign director for Fight Back RI, a political committee set up to support pro-marriage equality state lawmakers, said the three incoming Democrats in the Senate support equality. They include Adam Satchell of West Warwick, Ryan Pearson of Cumberland and Catherine Cool Rumsey of Exeter. Fight Back supported all three candidates.

The Senate, with Weed at the helm, remains a major obstacle to passage of marriage equality in Rhode Island.