A Rhode Island Senate committee will
vote on two bills related to gay marriage on Tuesday.
The Senate Judiciary Committee
announced Friday that it will take up the bills when lawmakers return
to Providence next week.
Lawmakers will debate a bill approved
in January by the House which seeks to make Rhode Island the 10th
state to legalize such unions.
Also under consideration is a bill
being championed by Senator Frank A. Ciccone, a Democrat, which
proposes allowing voters to decide the issue.
The committee held a grueling 12-hour
hearing on the bills last month.
grader Matthew Lannon testifies in support of his two-mom family.)
Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, an
opponent of marriage equality, previously pledged to bring the
marriage bill to the floor as soon as it emerges from the committee.
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.