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 marriage equality.

“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. Visit 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 people.

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.