Rhode Island Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed says she anticipates a vote of the full Senate on a gay marriage bill by the end of April.

The House overwhelmingly approved the measure in January. The Senate Judiciary Committee last month held a marathon 12-hour hearing on the issue but has yet to take a vote.

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“I feel very confident that the issue will be fully debated on the floor of the Senate at some point in April – sometime in the first couple of weeks after the break,” Weed told The Providence Journal.

Weed, who is personally opposed to marriage equality, said that her primary responsibility as Senate president is to “ensure an open and honest debate in committee and on the [Senate] floor.”

Weed pledged to bring the measure to the floor as soon as it emerges from the Senate Judiciary Committee, possibly as soon as the week of April 21.

A marriage bill has been introduced every year since 1997 in Rhode Island, 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.