The debate over whether to legalize gay
marriage in Rhode Island returns to the front burner next week.
The House Judiciary Committee which is
considering the legislation held an eight-and-a-half-hour hearing on
the issue early last month and could vote on the measure as early as
next Thursday, the same day a Senate panel is expected to begin
debate on its version of the bill, the Providence Journal
House Speaker Gordon D. Fox said the
proposal enjoys “strong support” in the House and that he would
like to move along the legislation to make way for debate on the
state budget and other issues.
“I'd like to get something done
sooner with marriage equality so that we can move on to those
discussions,” Fox, who is openly gay, said. “How soon? That's
going to depend on how soon I can get done laying my groundwork.”
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
is also battling against the institution's legalization in Maryland.