Rhode Island democratic gubernatorial
candidate Frank Caprio on Thursday lost the endorsement of the
state's largest gay marriage advocate, Marriage Equality Rhode Island
PAC (MERI PAC).
The reversal comes after Caprio, 44,
tweeted to his followers on the subject.
“Gay Marriage: In favor of it going
on the ballot, would sign it into law if it passed the general
In an email to backers titled Caprio
Can't Have It Both Ways, the group withdrew its support of the
state's general treasurer.
“We are completely opposed to any
ballot initiative,” Patrick Smock, chair of MERI PAC, said.
“History is clear. The question of civil rights for a minority
group should never be placed in the hands of the majority, who
already enjoy all those rights, privileges and protections.”
“This is the first time we have heard
Mr. Caprio take this position and we are shocked,” Smock added.
“Favoring a ballot initiative and
supporting the legislative process are two completely different
positions. Mr. Caprio can't have it both ways.”
The group continues to endorse
independent candidates Lincoln Chafee and Todd Giroux, along with
Moderate Party candidate Kenneth Block.
Former U.S. senator Chafee is the
front-runner of the three-man race that includes Republican John
Robitaille, who does not support marriage equality. Caprio slipped
from his leading position after saying that President Obama, who is
not endorsing any candidates, could “take his endorsement and
really shove it” during a radio interview earlier this week.
Legislators in Rhode Island have
considered a gay marriage bill every year since 1997. Supporters are
banking on a pro-gay marriage governor to help build momentum in the
next legislative session.