Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox
isn't ready to bring a gay marriage vote to the floor.
Fox, a co-sponsor of the bill, told
The Providence Journal that several issues must be ironed
out first before the legislation can come up for a vote.
Fox cited the need to ensure that the
Senate would consider the bill. Senate President M. Teresa Paiva
Weed opposes the legislation.
“You don't put something out there to
fail if you can avoid that by taking some time to talk to people and
making sure you have everything lined up,” Fox said. “Rushing
into some things is not the best strategy.”
The House Judiciary Committee held an
eight-and-a-half-hour hearing on the legislation on Wednesday.
Supporters of the bill outstripped opponents by more than 2 to 1.
Fox, who is openly gay, added that the
leadership needs time to “digest” all of the testimony.
Passage in the Democrat-controlled
House isn't certain, Fox said: “I mean this is, in a lot of eyes,
a controversial issue, and there has been a lot of pressure from a
lot of powerful folks for and against, and anytime you have that mix,
you have to make sure you have your votes, and that's one of the
things that needs to be talked about quite frankly.”
Opponents of the bill include the Roman
Catholic Church and the Rhode Island chapter of the National
Organization for Marriage (NOM-RI). NOM has successfully campaigned
against gay marriage laws in California and Maine.
group has attacked Governor Lincoln Chafee for his support of the
measure. NOM is also battling against the institution's
legalization in Maryland.