A series of 9 videos produced by the Providence Journal documents Rhode Island's long journey to becoming the 10th state to legalize gay marriage.

Passage of a marriage equality bill cleared the Rhode Island Senate on Wednesday, three months after clearing the House. Gay and lesbian couples might get the right to marry as early as August 1.

(Related: Rhode Island: 10th state to legalize gay marriage.)

But the journey has been long.

Democratic Senator Donna Nesselbush, the bill's champion in the Senate, told colleagues before calling the vote: “Today's vote culminates nearly a half century of struggle by the gay community.”

One video from the series takes a look at the 2010 civil unions compromise brokered by House Speaker Gordon Fox. Marriage advocates did not support his decision to push civil unions as a compromise.

“We're here today in response to speaker Fox and his comment that he put out to the press today that he would encourage the House to not vote on the marriage equality bill and he will instead push civil unions in the state of Rhode Island for this legislative session,” Kyle Marnane of Rhode Island Students for Equality says during a visit to the Assembly. “And we are asking Speaker Fox to live up to his word that he will let the House vote on the marriage equality bill during this session.”

Later, Fox is seen confronting the activists.

“I'm the speaker of the House, I'm an openly gay man, so this is very emotional for me,” Fox tells the activists. “But I understand as the speaker of the House counting votes what I can deliver to all of us. And I think that I'm delivering rights to us today.”

“And I'm not saying that this is equal to marriage,” he adds. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

Other videos in the series include Chafee's civil unions signing ceremony and last week's historic passage in the Senate.