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.
grader Matthew Lannon testifies in support of his two-mom family.)
“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
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.