A Rhode Island lawmaker will introduce
a gay marriage bill on Thursday.
State Representative Arthur Handy, a
Democrat from Cranston, told The
Providence Journal that he's already lined up 27 co-sponsors
for the measure. The measure enjoys the support of House Speaker
“I would like it done earlier than
later, only because later you get into budget issues and your focus
sort of changes,” Fox, an openly gay Democrat from Providence, told
The bill faces a steep incline in the
Senate and competition from a promised House measure that seeks to
put the question up for a vote.
Lincoln Chafee called on lawmakers to legalize gay marriage in his
Tuesday inauguration speech.
The Republican turned independent said
a gay marriage law would stimulate economic growth and “honor our
forefathers who risked their lives and fortune in the pursuit of
Chafee's predecessor, Don Carcieri, a
Republican, opposed marriage equality, and is a member of the
National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most
vociferous opponent of gay marriage. Last year, he
rankled gay activists when he spoke at a fundraiser in Boston for the
anti-gay group Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI).
On Wednesday, Rhode
Island Representative David Cicilline was sworn in, becoming the
fourth openly gay member of Congress.
Rhode Island lawmakers have considered
a gay marriage bill every year since 1997.